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CO >- DO 







y NODEL, Editor of Supply, Co-operation, Trade 


by SEMASHKO, Former People's Commissar for Health, 
now Chairman of the Child Commission of the C.E.C. 

THE SOVIET THEATRE (with 36 plates) 

by MARKOV, Literary Director of the Moscow Art Theatre 


by TAL, Head of the Department of Economics of the 
U.S.S.R. in the Sverdlov Communist University 


by GAISTER, Member of the Presidium of Gosplan 


by KRAVAL, Deputy Chairman of the Central Board of 
Economic Statistics 




by YANSON, Former Chairman of Arcos 



by TVERSKOI, Director of the Transport Section, State 
Planning Commission of the U.S.S.R. 




by PINKEVICH, Professor and Dean of tjie Second Moscow 



All 3 /6 except No. 3, which is 5 /- 
* Already published 


A GREAT NUMBER of books on Soviet Russia 
have come from the press during recent years but 
mainly impressions of the Soviet regime by visitors to 
or residents in the Soviet Union. Indeed, the lack of 
really precise and definite information has been as 
noticeable as the plethora of impressions. 

We accordingly requested prominent Soviet officials 
to prepare a series of books which would describe and 
explain the Soviet system and method in the various 
branches of economic, political, national, social, and 
artistic life. We have italicised the words describe and 
explain ; for the intention is simply to tell us, for instance, 
how labour is organised, how the problem of nationalities 
is being dealt with, how a collective farm works, how 
commodities are distributed, how justice is administered, 
and so on. 

V. G. 


K. N. TVERSKOI was born in 1902. After having 
worked for a number of years as a labourer, he com- 
pleted the course of electrical repairing and the workers' 
faculty course at the Leningrad Electro-technical Insti- 
tute. He then entered the Institute of Red Professors, 
and in 1930 graduated at the Economic Institute of Red 
Professors, specialising in transport. 

While preparing for further scientific work, K. N. 
Tverskoi has carried on cultural and educational work 
in factories, and has taught in higher educational insti- 
tutions. Since 1932 he has been working as professor in 
the Economic Institute of Red Professors. 

K. N. Tverskoi does not restrict himself to teaching 
and scientific work, but actively participates in practical 
work. He is in the State Planning Commission of the 
Council of People's Commissaries of the U.S.S.R. and 
is director of its Transport Section. 

He takes a most active part in planning the recon- 
struction of the Soviet transport system. At the All-Union 
Conference on the Electrification of the U.S.S.R. he 
delivered an address on the problems and methods of 
electrifying the transport system. He was also one of the 
organisers of the All -Union Conference on the recon- 
struction of a unified transport network in the U.S.S.R. 
Recently he has taken an active part in working out the 
second five-year plan for the development of the national 
economy of the U.S.S.R. 

K. N. Tverskoi is the author of Transport Reconstruction 
and is also co-author of a textbook on economic policy. 
He writes for various economic magazines. 






14 Henrietta Street Covent Garden 


Printed in Great Britain by 
The Camelot Press Ltd., London and Southampton 


Introduction page 9 

Chapter I. The Planning of Transport 15 

How the plan is built up the volume of traffic 
allocation to various forms of transport the financial 
part of the plan 

Chapter II. The Inheritance from Tsarist Russia 26 

Industry weak and centralised all forms of transport 
backward transport collapse during the war 

Chapter III. The Reconstruction 'of Transport 
after the Revolution 38 

Railway transport river transport transport by sea 
transport by air motor transport post and telegraphs 

Chapter IV. The Northern Sea Route 98 

The western section the eastern section the Cheliushkin 

Chapter V. The Baltic-White Sea Canal 1 1 1 

Projects in the Tsarist period construction of the canal 
under the Soviet Government 

Chapter VI. Development of Transport in the 
Ukraine 122 

Chapter VII. The New Dnieper 128 



Chapter VI I L Transport Connections with the 
Caucasus page 134 

Chapter IX. Transport Connections of the 
Urals and Western Siberia 140 

Chapter X. The Development of Transport in 
Kazakstan 154 

Chapter XL The Turkestan-Siberian Railway 160 
Chapter XII. Conclusion 166 

Index 170 

Map facing page 176 



IN THE SOVIET UNION all forms of transport 
by rail, river, sea, air and road are closely related 
to each other, forming one single system of transport. 

Previous to the Revolution air and road transport 
practically did not exist, while the various institutions 
controlling ways of communication by rail, river and 
sea were in constant competition to secure the 
biggest share of goods and passenger traffic. This 
conflict also existed in the building up of means of 

In a number of cases the construction of railway 
lines was carried out parallel to water routes with a 
view to securing part of the cargoes shipped along 
these water routes. In other instances railway lines 
were not joined to waterways, because of the fear 
that this might decrease the trend of freight towards 
the railway lines. Railway lines were directed to- 
wards the land frontiers* in order to secure the great- 
est possible share of goods intended for international 
markets which had previously been shipped by river 
or sea routes. 

This competition was clearly shown in a constant 
rate war, which existed not only between the various 
forms of transport, but also among the railway lines 


and shipping routes. For instance, a very keen 
struggle was carried on by various railway com- 
panies for the transport of coal from the Donbas (the 
basin of the river Don), which could reach Moscow 
by several trunk lines. 

The shipping lines of the Black Sea competed with 
those of the Baltic Sea to attract the freight from the 
largest possible areas. A similar struggle was carried 
on between the Baltic and the White Sea, between 
their principal ports Petersburg and Archangel 
to secure the cargoes from the timber zones. 

This competition, which assumed various forms, 
inevitably accompanied the growth of transport in 
pre-revolutionary Russia. For this reason one single 
system of transport in the country could not exist. 

The nationalisation of the means of transport, 
which was carried out after the November Revolu- 
tion of 1917, put an end to this competition. It 
created co-operation in the development of all forms 
of transport for the purpose of satisfying the require- 
ments of the nation's economy in the most rational 
and complete manner. Instead of the separate lines 
of transport in continual competition with each 
other, one single system of transport was established, 
and its development and the distribution of work 
among the various means of transport were carefully 

In this transport system of the U.S.S.R. each form 
of transport has its particular place, and fulfils its own 
task in the general development of Soviet economy. 



The shipping routes have to provide for the 
foreign trade of the Soviet Union and establish con- 
nections between the U.S.S.R. and other countries. 
They also play an important part in inter-territorial 
transport in the U.S.S.R., connecting the Black Sea 
with the Baltic Sea, and the south of the U.S.S.R. 
with the Far East (Black Sea- Vladivostok). On the 
Black Sea and the Sea of Azov they provide a con- 
nection between the various national republics 
the Ukraine, the Crimea, the Azov-Black Sea 
district, and the Transcaucasian Federation. The 
shipping lines on the Caspian Sea provide connecting 
links between Eastern Transcaucasia, Central Asia, 
Kazakstan, the Lower Volga and the Northern 

The shipping routes of the Soviet North connect the 
Leningrad district with the northern territories, the 
north of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. 

The principal object of railway transport in the 
U.S.S.R. is to form the main connecting links be- 
tween the various regions. The principal lines are 
those connecting the European part of the U.S.S.R. 
with the East, as well as those connecting Central 
Asia and Kazakstan on the one side and Siberia, the 
Ural, Donbas and the central districts of the 
U.S.S.R. on the other. The railway lines also assist 
the shipping routes in the maintenance of interna- 
tional connections by carrying goods to the western 
land frontier. 

The Soviet Union covers an area of 21,274,000 



sq. kilometres with a population of 168 million 
people. All over this immense area there are big 
industrial and agricultural centres which require 
means of transport of varied forms. The railway 
lines alone could not satisfy these varied and 
rapidly growing requirements and are greatly 
assisted in their work by river transport. 

River transport is of special importance for traffic 
between the southern and northern regions of the 
U.S.S.R. Waterways like the Volga and Dnieper, 
with their large tributaries, are of immense im- 
portance for the transport of goods between Trans- 
caucasia, the Northern Caucasus and the Azov- 
Black Sea districts and the Lower and Central 
Volga, the Gorki, Ivanovo, Moscow and Ural 
districts, the Tartar Republic, Bashkiria and Kazak- 
stan, as well as the Ukraine, the western and the 
White-Russian districts. 

The river basins of Siberia and the far north, which 
in Tsarist Russia were very incompletely exploited, 
now play an important part as inter-regional means 
of communication. 

Many river basins, especially in the north and in 
Siberia, and particularly those of the Onega, 
Mezen, Pechora, Hatanga, Lena, Indigirka and 
Kolyma, remained completely isolated under the 
Tsardom, as they were not linked up with other 
means of transport. In order to put an end to this 
isolation all the more important river basins have 
now been connected with the All-Union transport 



system either by the construction of railway lines, 
as in the neighbourhood of Lake Balkhash, or by 
establishing road services (as in the case of the vast 
Lena basin), or by making use of sea routes (as in 
the case of the Kolyma, Indigirka, Pechora, etc.). 
Through the establishment of these supplementary 
links, all the vast river basins and their populations 
have been given transport connections with all 
districts of the U.S.S.R. 

Road motor transport, which has been called into 
life only since the establishment of the Soviet 
regime, has at once taken a very important part in 
the transport system of the U.S.S.R. Its principal 
object is to provide transport within the districts ; 
in this it is assisted by narrow-gauge railways and 
transport by horses. Its object is not only to transport 
goods to and from railway stations, river basins and 
seaports, but to form an independent means of 
transport within the districts. Motor transport must 
relieve the railways of short-distance traffic, allowing 
them to concentrate on inter-regional transport. 
However, transport by motor is only a recent form 
of communication, and therefore it is not yet able to 
relieve the railways and river routes of the carrying 
of local goods. The point is that the trend of develop- 
ment of the various forms of transport is in the 
direction of using motors chiefly for carrying goods 
within the districts. 

At the present time, however, motors are some- 
times used as the means of transport between various 



districts. For instance, in Eastern Siberia motor 
lorries form the connecting link, carrying goods 
from the railway over a distance of some hundred 
kilometres to the river Lena, these goods being then 
shipped by this river to Yakutia. In this case motor 
lorries represent the only means of communication 
with Yakutia. 

Air transport is quite a new development, which 
did not exist in Tsarist Russia and was established 
after the Soviet Government came into power. Now 
aeroplanes convey mail, newspapers, goods of high 
value and small bulk and also passengers, and while 
they help the railways in carrying long distance 
goods, aeroplanes also play a very important part in 
those distant parts of the U.S.S.R. which are still 
deprived of any other means of communication. 
Aeroplanes have also proved to be very useful in 
agricultural work, assisting in sowing operations, in 
the fight against harmful insects, in the cultivation 
of fields and forests, in the fishing industry, in 
surveying work, etc. 

Thus, all forms of transport by sea, rail, river, by 
air, motor and horses make up a unified transport 
system for the U.S.S.R. in which every form of trans- 
port has its particular place and its particular work- 
ing sphere ; and all these various forms of transport, 
assisting each other, accomplish a common task, 
satisfying in the most rational and complete manner 
the ever-growing requirements of the country as a 
whole as well as of its numerous regions. 



THE DEVELOPMENT of the Soviet Union's trans- 
port system is determined by a plan drawn up for a 
definite period of time : a five-year plan ; a one-year 
plan as part of the five-year plan ; a quarterly plan 
as part of the one-year plan ; and lastly a monthly 
plan as part of the quarterly plan. 


How is this plan worked out, and what are its 
principal parts ? The principal divisions of the plan 
are : 

1 i ) The amount of goods of various kinds to be 

(2) The allocation of these goods to the various 
means of transport, which includes the distribution 
of the rolling-stock and other means of transport 
among the various railways, river basins and seas in 
accordance with the amount of transport to be 
effected, the amount of labour required, and lastly 
the condition of the rolling-stock, ships, motors, 



etc. 3 which determines the extent of replacement 

(3) The programme for the repair workshops, 
which is worked out on the basis of the plans of 
transport and exploitation of rolling-stock, etc. 

(4) The plan of capital investments required to 
increase the efficiency of the means of transport in 
accordance with requirements. 

(5) The plan for new construction of each kind of 
transport, which is worked out in dependence on 
the development of industry, agriculture and other 
branches of the national economy. 

(6) The plan for supplying the transport system 
with the necessary materials, such as : fuel, building 
materials, metal, timber, rails, rolling-stock, spare 
parts, etc. 

(7) A labour plan, showing the amount and 
efficiency of labour required, wages, the training of a 
staff of new workers and the training methods to be 
adopted, and the measures for raising the cultural 
level and living conditions of the workers. 

(8) The fixing of freight rates for the various 
branches of transport and for various goods. 

(9) The financial plan of transport receipts and 
expenditure, and the cost of transport. 

These are the principal divisions of the transport 
plan, each of which has a number of sub-divisions. 



The amount of goods to be carried is the deter- 
mining factor of the plan, on which all the remaining 
parts are based. Therefore it is necessary to devote 
particular attention to this question. 

It is quite obvious that the amount of goods to be 
carried depends on the production of the various 
industries, agriculture, timber districts, etc., as well 
as on the location of the points of production and 
places of consumption. 

First a plan is made of the entire volume of trans- 
port of the whole country, independently of the kind 
of transport by which it will be handled. Only after 
the compilation of this plan is the work begun of 
allocating the goods to the various forms of trans- 
port. Each form of transport works out a plan for its 
separate links railways, river and sea routes, air 
and motor transport which again make a working 
schedule for their dependent links, so that the lowest 
link and each individual worker knows what 
particular work has to be carried out. 

The working out of the transport plan is based on 
the plans for other branches of the country's econo- 
mic system, which give a general indication of the 
production of raw material, fuel, goods, etc. The 
industrial plans also show in what regions, in what 
factories and works and in what quantities these 
goods will be produced. However, this material is 
not enough for the establishment of a transport plan : 

B 17 


on the basis of such data only the first part of the plan 
is worked out, i.e. the kind of goods to be carried, 
the quantity of each, and the time when it may be 
expected to be delivered for transport. To draw up a 
transport plan it is also necessary to know the second 
point, viz. where, when, and in what quantities the 
goods are to be delivered. For this purpose schedules 
are drawn up for the various regions showing the 
balance of production and consumption for each 
principal product : for instance, for coal, grain, 
forage, oil, metals, timber, and building material, 
etc. On the basis of such regional schedules it may be 
fairly accurately determined what kinds and quanti- 
ties of goods will be sent beyond the limits of each 
region, and also what kinds and quantities of goods 
are required to be brought into the various regions. 

On the basis of such regional estimates of produc- 
tion and consumption, schedules for the inter- 
regional goods traffic are drawn up for the whole 
country, connecting the importing regions with those 
exporting. With regard to the transport of goods 
within the regions, this is planned in the same way 
within the limits of the region. 

On the basis of these data a plan of transport work 
is drawn up for a definite period of time. A plan is 
made, for instance, of the quantity of coal which will 
have to be transported, from where it will come, and 
where it will have to be carried, with the length of 
the runs. The same applies to other kinds of goods 
(oil, mineral ore, metals, machinery, including 



tractors and motor-cars, timber and building mater- 
ials, sugar, salt, etc.). When this basic information 
has been secured for each particular kind of goods, a 
schedule is prepared for the aggregate transport 
turnover of the whole country, showing the length 
of the runs and the total kilometre-ton figure of the 
traffic. The transport plan is prepared not only on a 
national scale, but also on a regional scale. Each 
constituent republic of the U.S.S.R., each region 
and each district knows what amount and what 
kind of goods have to be despatched, and where 
they are to be forwarded to ; and, on the other hand, 
what kind and what amount of goods have to be 

Not only the transport authorities take part in the 
compilation of the transport plan ; they are assisted 
in this task by the managing bodies in the various 
industries and agriculture, by the organisations 
controlling the distribution of products, and lastly 
by the administrative authorities of the republics, 
regions, territories and districts and their local 
planning commissions. 


Such detailed information regarding the flow of 
goods between and within the various regions forms 
the principal basis for the rationally planned 
distribution of the work between the various kinds 
of transport, and the allocation to each of a definite 



amount and type of work, taking into consideration 
the use of combined means of transport and the pos- 
sible development of the different kinds of transport. 
At the present time the necessity for developing 
communication by water routes and motor transport 
is being particularly felt in the U.S.S.R. 

The goods turnover for each kind of transport is 
shown in detail the total amount of goods to be 
carried, the various kinds of goods and the directions 
in which the goods are to be forwarded. It is also 
necessary to specify not only the number of tons, but 
also what distance the goods are to be carried, i.e. 
the ton-kilometre data, which provide a complete 
index of the work to be accomplished by the various 
forms of transport. 

For each kind of transport the railways, roads, 
river and sea routes a detailed flow of traffic is 
scheduled, based on the amount of work required 
and the data showing the inter-regional connections. 
This completes the preparation of the traffic plan, 
on which all other elements of the transport plan are 
based. Thus, for instance, the planned volume and 
range of traffic determines the amount of rolling- 
stock and other means of transport required, and 
consequently also the size of orders to be transmitted 
to industrial concerns for engines, cars, ships, aero- 
planes and other means of transport. 

Comparison of the planned movement of goods 
along particular railways and shipping routes with 
their transporting capacity at once reveals the 



necessity of increasing this capacity in accordance 
with the amount of transport work to be done. For 
example, on a section A-B 5 an annual movement of 
goods to the amount of ten million tons is expected, 
while its capacity is at present limited to six million 
tons. Consequently, measures must be taken to 
increase the capacity of this section, and measures 
are worked out in accordance with the possibilities, 
such as : the building of an additional railway line, 
the electrification of the section, the levelling of the 
gradients of the track, or supplying the section with 
more powerful rolling-stock. In accordance with 
the means selected the amount of capital investment 
required is determined. Finally the total amount of 
capital investment is settled, as well as the detailed 
measures to be taken, and these data are incor- 
porated in the plan. 


In this way all the component parts of a general 
transport plan are built up on the basis of the traffic 
which has to be handled. The financial plan, in- 
cluding the receipts and expenditure, is also based on 
the traffic plan. The receipts are estimated on the 
basis of the amount of goods to be carried and the 
ton-kilometre rates. Other receipts are also taken 
into account. The expenditure is estimated by the 
number of manual and office workers, the wages and 
salaries, the required amount of fuel and its cost, 
the requirements in lubricating oil and other 



material, and its cost, as well as the amortisation of 
the initial funds and the capital required for the 
further development of transport. 

The complete plan, including the financial plan, 
forms part of the general plan of the country's 
economy, and the Government, in confirming the 
latter, decides on the various assignments from the 
income of the country, independently of what 
branch of the country's economy has supplied the 
income. It may happen, for example, that the 
income derived from industries will be partly used 
for the further development of transport, and 
vice versa. 

The freight rate policy of the U.S.S.R. is again 
based on a plan. The rate for each form of transport 
and each kind of goods carried is determined on the 
basis of Government decisions in connection with 
a whole series of economic and political problems at 
each period. For instance, if the Government con- 
siders it necessary to increase the importance of the 
part played by water routes in the whole transport 
system, this is taken into consideration in fixing the 
freight rates : the rates for water transport are 
lowered, while at the same time the rates for railway 
transport are raised on those lines which run parallel 
to the particular water routes. 

When the Government proposed to increase the 
transport of coal from the Donbas by a combined 
system of railway and water routes, i.e. carrying the 
coal by rail to Stalingrad, thence shipping it up the 



river Volga in order to supply the consumers located 
along the rivers, the freight rates were lowered on the 
railway which was to transport the coal from the 
Donbas to the Volga and also on the shipping lines on 
that river. 

If the object in view is the development of some 
industry in one of the distant constituent republics 
of the Soviet Union, this is reflected in the freight 
rates of the transport system. 

In each individual case the question of fixing rates 
is decided in accordance with the expediency of 
influencing traffic by such measures from the point 
of view of the whole economy of the country. 

Alterations in the rates of freight are made by the 
Tariff Committee, which consists of representatives 
of transport and other economic organisations. 
Important changes are introduced only after con- 
firmation by the Government. 

Freight rates are therefore decided on the basis 
of the general plan of transport and the general 
interests of the country's economy. One of the most 
important determining factors in this question is the 
cost of transport, which includes the operating ex- 
penses on each kilometre-ton of the traffic in 
question, together with the amount required for 
amortisation of the initial funds. The average freight 
rate is usually somewhat higher than the average cost 
of transport. This is in order that transport should 
not only pay its operating expenses, but also provide 
the necessary capital for increasing its capacity. 



Consequently, the total sum of receipts at fixed 
freight rates must be such as to cover all operating 
expenses and cost of amortisation, and also to 
furnish the necessary capital for the development of 
the transport system. However, though this is the 
general principle in regard to the establishment of 
freight rates, variations may be introduced to 
achieve some particular purpose as has been men- 
tioned above. 

There are twenty-seven railway lines in the 
U.S.S.R. As a rule there are equal freight rates for 
the same kinds of goods. For instance, the ton- 
kilometre rate for carrying coal is the same on the 
railway system of the Ukraine as on the railway 
systems of the Urals and Siberia. This is done to 
simplify the calculation of rates, as the receipts 
from each railway are handed over to the general 
fund of railway transport. The distribution of these 
receipts is effected according to a plan among the 
various railways, in accordance with the particular 
work which each has to carry out in the development 
of transport ; this development work is by no means 
the same for the different railways, and is determined 
by the general economic plan for the whole country. 

There is a differentiated table of freight rates for 
the various kinds of goods, including eighty different 
classes. Each kind of goods comes within a definite 
class, with a fixed ton-kilometre rate for various 

The plan of freight rates forms part of the general 



transport plan, and is a component part of each 
" perspective " (long-period) and annual plan. 

In conclusion it is necessary to note a special 
feature of this planning, viz. it is not worked out by 
superior officials of the central administrations. If, 
for instance, a railway plan has to be prepared, the 
working out of this plan begins with the lowest 
links ; their drafts are then referred to the adminis- 
tration of the particular railway, and lastly to the 
administrative authorities for railway transport as a 
whole. This plan, in the compilation of which all 
transport and economic organisations have been 
participating, is finally handed over to the State 
Planning Commission of the Council of Soviet 
Commissaries. Here the plan is examined, and after 
it has been adjusted and systematised in accordance 
with general economic plans, it is confirmed by the 
Government. After this confirmation the plan is 
handed down from the higher to the lower adminis- 
trative authorities and made known to all transport 
workers. After this all the organisations concerned 
make every effort to carry out the plan, systematic- 
ally controlling its working and assisting those 
sections which are lagging behind. The fact that 
the plan is known among all transport workers 
guarantees its successful working. 




1 H E FORMER Russian Empire was an agricul- 
tural country, noted for its economic weakness and 
its dependence on foreign capita]. It exported grain 
products, timber and agricultural raw material, 
importing manufactured goods, machinery and 
equipment for industrial concerns. Tsarist Russia 
had no strong metallurgical industry. Construction 
of machinery was still in a very low state of develop- 
ment, and such branches of industry as aviation, 
construction of motor-cars, tractors and machine 
tools did not exist. Means of production were not 
produced. In consequence of this Russia was a weak 
and dependent country. Vast territories with great 
natural resources, such as the Far East, Siberia, 
Kazakstan, Central Asia, the northern provinces, 
the Volga district, White Russia, and the western 
provinces, were quite undeveloped. The great 
mining and manufacturing district of the Urals, 



rich in such minerals as coal, iron ore, copper, silver, 
etc., was inadequately developed. The entire 
industry of Tsarist Russia was concentrated in four 
areas : Moscow, Ivanovo, Petersburg, and the 
Kharkov-Donetz district. These four districts pro- 
duced more than 75 per cent of all goods manufac- 
tured in Tsarist Russia. 

The concentration of industrial development in a 
few districts of European Russia, together with the 
economic and cultural backwardness of the remote 
districts, placed the latter in a state of dependence, 
with the centre as their metropolis. Siberia, Central 
Asia, the Caucasus, and Transcaucasia became 
appendages of Central Russia, supplying it with raw 
materials for industry, but themselves retaining 
primitive forms of cultivation and a patriarchal- 
feudal society. 

The industry of European Russia was unevenly 
distributed. Almost the entire metallurgical industry 
was concentrated in the south of Russia. In 1913 the 
workers of the Donbas and the Dnieper district 
produced 74 per cent of the total Russian output of 
pig iron. The Donetz coal-mining district in 1913 
supplied 87 per cent of all the coal mined in Russia. 
An enormous territory was dependent on one coal 
district for its supply of coal. The cotton industry 
was concentrated in the Moscow, Ivanovo and 
Petersburg districts. More than 50 per cent of the 
linen industry was located in the Ivanovo district. 
Sugar production was limited to the Ukraine and 



the Centra] Black Earth district. The entire produc- 
tion of the manufacturing industry of Tsarist Russia 
was estimated at 10*2 milliards of rubles at the 
prices of 1926-27. The whole acreage under crops 
was 105 million hectares, of which only 4-5 million 
hectares were taken up by plants used for industrial 
purposes. Only 690,000 hectares were under cotton, 
and only 650,000 hectares were used for sugar beet. 

In regard to its technical and economic develop- 
ment, the degree of exploitation of productive forces 
and the capacity of its industry, Tsarist Russia was 
far behind other countries. As Stalin once said : 

" The history of ancient Russia shows that the 
country was continually being beaten because of its 
backwardness. It was beaten by the Mongolian 
khans ; by the Turkish bekhs ; by the Swedish feudal 
lords ; it was beaten by the Polish-Lithuanian 
squires ; beaten by the Anglo-French capitalists ; 
by the Japanese barons. It was beaten because of its 
backwardness. Its backwardness in military, in- 
dustrial, cultural and agricultural respects, its 
backwardness in State administration. It was 
beaten because this was profitable and could be 
done without entailing any punishment." 


Transport in all its phases was no exception in 
the general backwardness of pre-revolutionary 
Russia. In 1913 the total length of railway lines 
amounted to only 2-8 kilometres to each 1,000 



sq. km., while in the same year Great Britain had 
141 -9 km., Germany 117 -8 km., and France 95-5 km. 
of railway lines to every 1,000 sq. km. The total 
length of railways in Tsarist Russia was only 
58,500 km. 

The development of inter-regional connections was 
also far from satisfactory. Communication with 
Siberia was effected by means of two one-track 
railway lines, which were joined into one trunk line 
at Omsk, and further to the east this trunk line had 
only one track and its construction had never been 
properly completed. Naturally, the amount of goods 
conveyed by this line was quite inconsiderable. In 
1913 it amounted to only 1-7 million tons on the 
two one-track lines, and further on, in the direction 
of Omsk and Novosibirsk, it amounted to only 
500,000 tons. The connection with the districts of 
Kazakstan and Central Asia was also unsatisfactory, 
being effected by means of one one-track line with 
a traffic turnover with these vast regions of about 
one million tons. Railway transport to and from the 
North Caucasus and Transcaucasia amounted to 
1-5 million tons of goods, while the traffic turnover 
between the Donbas territory and the Petersburg 
district reached 600,000 tons. There were quite 
insufficient means of communication with the north 
of Russia, there being only a solitary railway line, 
the Archangel railway, which had but one track. 
There was no connection whatever with the vast 
territory of North Siberia. 



This backwardness of the railways was also shown 
in their technical equipment. Much of the rolling- 
stock was very poor and out of date. Most of the 
engines belonged to the series " O " with a tractive 
force of less than nine tons. Wagons were of the two- 
axle box type with insufficient carrying efficiency. 
Trains were not equipped with automatic brakes or 
automatic couplirigs. 

Rails were of the light-weight type with a light 
layer of ballast and a quite insufficient number of 
sleepers. Means of communication and signalling 
were of a very primitive character. There was a 
complete lack of automatic block systems. Tsarist 
Russia was satisfied with such out-of-date railway 
transport because its economic development was 
very low. In 1913 the total freight turnover was only 
132 million tons. 

The same backwardness was manifested in river 
transport. The enormous river basins of the Ural and 
Siberia were not (with a few exceptions) used as 
means of communication, while the opportunities 
offered by the European rivers were very insuffici- 
ently exploited. The best was the river Volga, the 
most ancient water route of the country. The trans- 
port facilities of the Volga were, however, insufficient 
in number and out of date as regards technical 
equipment. There was no connection between the 
Volga and the Baltic Sea, as the Mariinsky canal 
system did not meet the requirements of a direct 
water route to Petersburg. The Dnieper rapids 



formed a barrier between the upper and lower part 
of the river and made normal navigation quite 
impossible. There was no communication between 
the Baltic and the White Sea. 

The equipment of the river ports as well as sea- 
ports was conspicuous for the absence of the most 
elementary facilities, as well as the absence of any 
mechanised equipment for loading and unloading. 

Everything that was done for water transport in 
pre-revolutionary times was marked by exceptional 
stinginess. The Tsar's officials not only showed their 
inefficiency in the struggle with the elements of 
nature, but could not even effect the most necessary 
hydro-technical constructions that were urgently 
needed for normal navigation and did not require 
any exorbitant expenditure. 

Nothing need be said about air and road motor 
transport as these means of communication did not 
exist in Tsarist Russia. 

In those parts of the country where there were no 
railways, there were practically no efficient means of 
transport ; in a number of vast regions and districts 
they were limited to country roads which after even 
moderate rain became impassable, and caused the 
loss of many horses. In the whole of Russia there 
were but 24,300 kilometres of highways of an 
approved type, of which only 4,800 km. were paved. 

Such was the condition of the transport system 
left to the country by Tsarist Russia. The description 
would not, however, be complete without mentioning 


two characteristic features of pre-revolutionary 
transport. First, a considerable part of the construc- 
tion of railways and other means of transport in 
Tsarist Russia was effected with the assistance of 
foreign capital, which supplied the country with 
financial resources and materials. For instance, 
during the first period of railway construction, up to 
the year 1875, the foreign market participated to the 
extent of 50 per cent in the joint stock capital of 
railway companies, and 75 per cent in the railway 
bonds. In the subsequent period of railway construc- 
tion the share of foreign capital in loans issued by 
the Tsarist Government was 52 per cent. Besides, 
during the period 1838-75, 75 per cent of all the rails 
laid were imported from abroad. The rolling-stock, 
particularly engines, as well as steamers for the river 
and sea routes were also supplied from foreign 
sources. In this way foreign capital played a most 
active part in the construction of ways of communica- 
tion in Tsarist Russia. 

Another characteristic feature was that the con- 
struction of railways and the development of sea 
and river routes were made to serve the interests of 
the foreign trade of Russia. Little consideration was 
given to the economic development within the 
country. The establishment of connections with the 
sea or with the land frontier was the leit-motif of 
all transport construction in the pre-revolutionary 
period. Railways were extended and river routes 
developed connecting the interior with the ports of 



the Baltic, Black and White Seas, as well as with the 
Sea of Azov, with the western land frontier and the 
shore of the Pacific Ocean. It was the chief aim of the 
Tsarist Government to export to foreign markets the 
greatest possible amount of agricultural raw material 
and timber, so that big profits might be realised. 
This was also the chief object in view in the develop- 
ment of sea routes. 

The construction of ways of communication to 
meet the requirements of the economic development 
within the country was quite a different matter. 
The country was kept in the same roadless state ; 
such ways of communication as existed could not 
satisfy the requirements of economic development, 
and this was a hindrance to the development of the 
productive forces of the country. 


In order to give a clear idea of the condition in 
which the transport system was found by the Soviet 
Government, it is necessary also to mention in what 
degree it had suffered from the effect of the imperi- 
alist war. Besides the limitation of all transport con- 
struction as a result of the war, the means of transport 
owned by the Tsar's Government were in a most 
unsatisfactory condition. This is clearly shown by a 
report which Adjutant-General Alexeef, Chief of 
Staff of the Tsar's army, addressed to Nicholas II in 
May 1918 : 

" At the present time," writes General Alexeef, 

C Vol. 10 33 


" there is hardly a single sphere of State or public 
life which does not suffer from the serious disturb- 
ances resulting from the unsatisfactory state of 
transport. Transport facilities are placed at the 
disposal of industrial concerns working for the 
defence of the country in preference to and to the 
disadvantage of all other concerns. Nevertheless 
even Government works holding an exclusive 
position in preference to others do not receive the 
fuel, materials and parts required by them, for which 
orders had been given and filled some time ago, 
because they cannot be delivered and have to wait 
for months before they are forwarded. Sometimes 
* there are no cars available ' ; another time ' there 
are cars, but no instructions have been given ' ; 
sometimes ' the volume of freight exceeds the trans- 
port capacity of the railway section in question.' 

" At the present rate of production of the Artillery 
and the Putilov works the supply of fuel and metal 
will only suffice for a couple of days. General Mani- 
kovsky is in vain trying to prevent the stopping of 
the Lugansk cartridge works, which will be inevitable 
if it does not receive immediately at least a small part 
of the oil purchased and awaiting delivery in Baku. 
The Obukhov works of the Admiralty are also in 
urgent need of the delivery of fuel and metal. The 
condition of private concerns in regard to the supply 
of fuel and material is far worse and has reached a 
critical stage. On the average, the concerns working 
for the defence of the country cannot get more than 



50-60 per cent of the necessary supplies trans- 
ported, and the Minister of Ways of Communication 
recently declared that of the 18-5 million poods 
required by the Petrograd district, it would be 
possible to transport only 8 million poods. 1 

" We have inexhaustible natural resources in 
mineral ores, coal, fluxes, etc., but, instead of 
increasing the production of metal which is so 
urgently needed, 17 out of the 62 blastfurnaces of the 
Donetz district have been closed down for the reason 
that it proved impossible to transport the necessary 
mineral ore, flux and coal located in the same 
district, and to secure the required labour several 
thousand hands. 

" According to the report of General Manikovsky 
the Ishevsky cartridge works are * using the last few 
pounds of imported steel,' and the works producing 
percussion-caps are unable to obtain the metal 

" With the transport system in such a condition 
it is not only impossible to increase the output of the 
works, but we shall be obliged to limit the present 
production. " 

It is evident that the transport system of Tsarist 
Russia was unable to stand the test of the imperialist 
war because of its backwardness. This test also proved 
too much for the economic conditions of Tsarist 
Russia and the political system of the monarchy, 
which collapsed in February 1917. 

1 i pood =36' 1 1 28 English Ibs. ; approximately 62 poods i ton. 



The destruction of transport did not come to an 
end when Russia went out of the war. After the 
November 1917 Revolution the civil war began. The 
White Guards and the interventionists, having seized 
a considerable part of the country Siberia, the 
Urals, the Ukraine, the north of Russia continued 
to destroy the means of transport. When they were 
pressed by the Red Army and began their retreat, 
they blew up the most important railway bridges, 
destroyed stations and railway lines, spoiled the 
water supply, demolished engines and cars and sank 
ships of the river and sea fleets, besides seizing a 
considerable part of the Black Sea fleet. The destruc- 
tion of transport stopped only after the Red Army 
had driven the enemy from Soviet territory. 

During the civil war the following were des- 
troyed : 4,322 railway bridges with a total span of 
approximately 90 km., 1,885 km. of main railway 
tracks, 2,904 switches, and about one million cubic 
metres of buildings and civil constructions. By the 
end of the civil war the number of defective engines 
reached 60 per cent, and that of defective wagons 
30 per cent, of the total rolling-stock. Sea transport 
suffered still more, a substantial part of the fleet 
having been either sunk or carried off by the 
retreating armies. On all the seas, with the exception 
of the Caspian Sea, 83 per cent of the ships and 76 
per cent of the total amount of tonnage had been 

As a result of this destruction the connections 



between the most important regions of the country, 
which had always been weak, broke down altogether. 
The central industrial regions, the districts of 
Moscow, Ivanovo and Petrograd, were cut off from 
the supply of coal from the Donetz district, of cotton 
from Central Asia, and grain from the Ukraine, 
North Caucasus and Siberia. The capacity of the 
railways for goods traffic decreased from 132 million 
tons in 1913 to 39 million tons in 1920-21 ; the 
capacity of the river routes decreased by 70 per 
cent as compared with 1913. 

Such was the melancholy inheritance left to the 
Soviet Union, an inheritance which was paralysing 
the entire economic life of the country. 






IT is EVIDENT that the chief task before the 
country when it emerged from the imperialist and 
civil wars was to restore in the shortest possible 
period the productive forces and the economic life of 
the country. The chief slogan of this period was : 
Fight for transport, for bread and coal ! 

At that time Lenin said : 

" We must re-establish the balance of agriculture 
and industry, and in order to achieve this we must 
have a material basis. What is the material basis 
for industry and agriculture ? It is rail and water 
transport. 53 

The fight for transport and food supplies became 
almost a war slogan. Many efforts were made, much 
energy, enthusiasm and heroism was displayed in 
this struggle by the workers of the Soviet republics. 
As a result of these heroic efforts the country suc- 
ceeded in restoring in a very short period bridges, 
engines, cars, what remained of the river and sea 



cargo fleets, wharves, ports, roads ; and the restora- 
tion of the principal transport lines led to the re- 
establishment of connections between the vast regions 
of the country. The connections between the Moscow 
and Leningrad industrial centres and the regions of 
Siberia, Kazakstan, Central Asia, the Urals, the 
North, the Volga district, the Ukraine, the North 
Caucasus and later Transcaucasia and the Far 
East were restored and extended. The flow of 
freight, grain, coal, oil, cotton, etc., was again 
directed to the industrial centres. 

Transport began to increase its capacity in regard 
to goods and passenger traffic, approaching pre- 
war figures. In the year 1927 the amount of goods 
traffic carried by the railways had passed the pre- 
war level, 8 1 -6 million ton-kilometres against the 
65-7 million ton-kilometres carried in Tsarist Russia 
in 1913. 

The most important economic task was therefore 
fulfilled. However, the pre-war economic basis, 
which had thus been re-established, was insufficient 
for the growing requirements of the Soviet Union, 
because it had very serious defects. 

The technical and economic level of transport 
could not be compared to that of advanced foreign 
countries. The country had only an inadequate metal 
industry the basis of industrialisation ; it did not 
make any tractors, automobiles, aeroplanes or 
lathes ; there was no really up-to-date chemical 
industry, no construction of agricultural machinery 



on a large scale. At that time the Soviet Union took 
the last place in regard to the amount of electrical 
energy generated, the quantity of oil or coal pro- 

Still more backward from a technical and eco- 
nomic point of view was agriculture, where the 
system of petty producers with a most primitive and 
primeval technique prevailed. At the same time 
agriculture is the basis for the development of 
industry, being the market that consumes the pro- 
ducts of industry and supplies raw material and 
foodstuffs ; it is also the source of export products 
which in their turn make it possible to import in- 
dustrial equipment. 

The backwardness of agriculture limited the 
development of industry and created new difficulties 
for the economic development of the U.S.S.R. The 
only way to overcome this century-old backwardness 
was to reorganise agriculture on the basis of wide- 
spread collectivised production supplied with up-to- 
date technical working equipment. 

Finally, the fact that industrial concerns were 
concentrated in a few districts of the European part 
of the Soviet Union hindered the development of the 
productive forces of the vast regions of the U.S.S.R. 
particularly Siberia, the Far East, Kazakstan and 
Central Asia that were rich in natural resources. 

For this reason the Soviet Government, after 
restoring the country's economic conditions, set 
itself a new and still bolder task : to reconstruct the 



entire economic structure by introducing industrial- 
isation, creating an independent basis for the pro- 
duction of the means of production, by establishing 
a new coal and metallurgical base in the East, two 
new textile bases in East and Central Asia ; by 
developing industry and agriculture in the remoter 
regions, liquidating the former backwardness of 
agriculture by reorganising it on the basis of con- 
centrated collectivised production and supplying it 
with tractors, motors, combines and the most per- 
fect and complicated agricultural implements and 
chemical fertilisers. 

This implied the fulfilment of a most difficult task : 
to transform the U.S.S.R. in a short period of time 
from a weak agricultural country into a powerful 
industrial country. In order to achieve this it was 
necessary to undertake the reconstruction and 
rationalisation of the entire system of transport of the 
U.S.S.R. in order to conform with the new economic 
plan and the new geography of the country. The 
transport had to be raised to a level that would meet 
the requirements of a powerful industrial country. 

As is well known, the first five-year plan for the 
reconstruction of the national economy of the 
U.S.S.R. was successfully completed in four years 
and a half. During this period of reconstruction 
most substantial changes were made in the condition 
of the transport system of the U.S.S.R., in regard to 
quantity as well as quality. 



According to the first five-year plan the transport 
of goods by the railways for the year 1933 was 
estimated at 162,700 million ton-kilometres. On the 
eve of the five-year period, in 1928, the total of 
goods traffic on the railways reached 93,400 million 
ton-km. In 1913 it amounted to 65,700 million 
ton-km. Consequently, the Soviet railways were 
expected to increase their capacity in the course of 
five years by a greater amount than the total reached 
by Tsarist Russia in the course of many years. This 
was indeed an immense task. 

By means of the most intensive work the five-year 
plan of railway transport was fulfilled in four years. 
As early as 1932 the capacity of the railways reached 
the level of 169,300 million ton-km., which ex- 
ceeded the figure estimated for the fifth year by 4-1 
per cent. A still greater success was achieved with 
the transport of passengers. In 1913 the figure 
reached was 25,200 million passenger-kilometres, in 
1928, 24,500 million passenger-km., and in 1932 it 
actually rose to 84,100 million passenger-km. 5 while 
according to the first five-year plan it had been 
planned to reach only 35,400 million passenger-km. 

This over-fulfilment of the transport plan was 
the result of the entire realisation of the economic 
five-year plan in four and a half years. The great 
excess in the number of passengers carried was due 
to the economic development of the country, the 



improvement of the cultural and material living 
conditions of the working class, the growth of health 
resorts, and the increased building of suburban 
dwellings, creating an increase of suburban traffic. 
However, the transport plan was fulfilled not only 
in regard to quantity, but also in regard to quality ; 
the statistics showed a marked change in the struc- 
ture and direction of the flow of traffic, which was 
greatly influenced by the fact that Russia was being 
changed from an agricultural country into an 
industrial one. This was particularly manifested in 
the enormous increase in materials transported for 
heavy industry, especially for such branches as fuel, 
minerals, metallurgy and machine building, which is 
clearly shown by the following table : 


(in million tons) 

1932 in 
Kind of Goods 1913 1928 1932 0/1913 

Total turnover 132*4 156*2 267-9 202*3 

including : 

Grain 13-8 16-5 23*8 i?2'5 

Goal 19-9 30-4 56-7 285 

Mineral ore 6*7 7-0 12-7 190 

Metals -8 9-5 

Oil and oil products 4-4 8*7 17-0 386 

Timber and firewood 15*7 30*2 46*3 295 

New articles appeared on the railways, that had 
been unknown to Tsarist Russia, viz, tractors, auto- 
mobiles, combines, chemical fertilisers and many 
other goods. In 1913 the principal articles of heavy 



industry transported such as coal, mineral ore, oil, 
metal and metal articles, building material of 
mineral origin, and timber amounted to 397 per 
cent of the total turnover ; in 1926 they rose to 40 
per cent, and in 1932 they formed 57-1 of the 
total amount of goods carried. Thus an industrial 
country has an industrial goods traffic. 

A change is also to be noted in regard to the dis- 
tribution of traffic in the various regions. The 
creation of new industrial centres, the development 
of previously backward agricultural districts, the 
industrialisation of the national republics all this 
changed the proportion of traffic in the distant re- 
gions to the total traffic turnover. This is shown by 
the following table : 

Part played by each in the despatch 
Various Regions of goods (in percentages of total) 

Northern district 0-3 1-6 

The Ural 4-6 6-8 

Kazakstan 0*7 1-6 

Western Siberia 1*4 4 '5 

The Far East i-i 2-0 

Central Asia i *6 i -9 

Total for 6 regions 9*7 18*4 

The growing share of the newly developed regions 
in the total traffic of the railways is clearly shown, 
and reflects the policy of the Soviet Government in 
regard to the development of new regions and 
national republics. 



Lastly, the third change in the transport work of 
the railways is the growth of inter- regional transport, 
together with a considerable concentration of 
freight on the principal trunk lines connecting the 
main producing and consuming regions. This was 
particularly the case with such main lines as con- 
nected the Krivoi Rog mineral district and the 
coal-mining industry of the Donbas with the metal- 
lurgical region of the south ; the Donetz region with 
the Moscow and Leningrad districts ; the centre of 
the U.S.S.R. with the Urals and Siberia ; the centre 
of the U.S.S.R. with Central Asia and Transcau- 
casia. The growth of inter-regional connections led 
also to a greater extension of the hauls. For instance, 
in 1913 the average goods haul was 496 kilometres, 
while in 1932 it reached 632 kilometres. Conse- 
quently the total volume of transport has greatly 
increased, not only because the quantity of goods to 
be transported is steadily increasing, but also be- 
cause these goods have to be carried much greater 

The following means were used to enable the 
railways to achieve this object. First, more adequate 
connections and greater co-operation with other ways 
of communication, in the first instance with river 
transport ; secondly, the mobilisation and rational 
utilisation of all railway resources ; and thirdly, a 
considerable increase and reconstruction of all means 
of transport. 

The co-ordination of the railway work with that 



of all other forms of transport was obtained by 
working in accordance with a plan for transport in 
general, particularly at the junctions. A proper dis- 
tribution of the traffic, an efficient organisation of the 
seaports, the auxiliary railways, connections between 
the railway and motor routes, and the transfer of 
goods from one form of transport to the other all 
this greatly assisted the successful functioning of the 

In regard to the mobilisation of internal resources 
and the rational utilisation of the means of transport, 
the work performed consisted in eliminating the 
transport of the same goods in both directions, in 
avoiding the despatching of empty cars, in increasing 
the speed of the runs, in expediting the interchange 
of rolling-stock, in the rational utilisation of the 
entire rolling-stock and in the correct distribution 
of the traffic. 

These measures resulted in raising the economic 
and technical standard of operation. For instance, 
in the year 1913 the average run per day of a pas- 
senger train engine was 101 kilometres, whereas in 
1932 the average daily run of a goods train engine 
was 146 km., and that of a passenger train 223 km. ; 
in 1913 the average run of a goods wagon was 67-8 
km., while in 1932 it amounted to 97-3 km. In 1913 
an average goods train consisted of 80 axles, in 1932 
this had been increased to 104 axles. In 1913 the 
weight of a goods train averaged about 700 tons, 
whereas in 1932 it rose to 967 tons. In 1913 the 


annual load per kilometre was 1,122,000 tons. In 
1932 this load rose to 2,003,000 tons. 

In consequence of this intensified exploitation of 
transport, each engine and each wagon carried 
more goods in 1932 than in 1913, and even more 
than had been estimated in the plan for the first 
five-year period. For instance, according to that plan 
the average dynamic load per freight train axle for 
the year 1933 had been estimated at 4-85 tons. By 
1932 it had reached 5-3 tons ; instead of the 828,000 
ton-kilometres for each ton of tractive force of the 
engine, estimated in the plan, 866,000 ton-km. were 
effected ; and instead of the planned 15,500 ton-km. 
per ton of carrying power of a goods wagon per 
annum, 16,700 ton-km. had been reached. In this 
way a more rational utilisation of the means of 
transport and its natural resources resulted in the 
successful realisation of the transport plan. 

Lastly, considerable work had been done in regard 
to the extension and reconstruction of all railway 
transport. In the first place we must note the in- 
creased construction of new railways and the exten- 
sion of the railways under exploitation. As has been 
mentioned before, the length of railways under 
exploitation in 1913 amounted to 58,500 km. In 
1928 it had increased to 76,900 km. In the course of 
the first five-year period, 6,500 km. of new lines had 
been constructed and handed over for exploitation. 
Consequently, on January i, 1933, the length of 
railways under exploitation had reached 83,400 km. 



Among the newly constructed railways there 
stands out a most important main line, the Turkestan- 
Siberian railway, measuring i ,442 km. and connect- 
ing Central Asia with Western Siberia. It is of 
great economic importance. Another newly con- 
structed main line is the Borovoye-Akmolinsk-Kara- 
ganda railway, which furthers the development of 
the Karaganda coal district, with a view to supplying 
coal from this mining district to the industries of the 
South Urals, Bashkiria and Kazakstan. The Leninsk- 
Novosibirsk railway will be the means of conveying 
coal from the Kuznetsk district, located in Western 
Siberia, to the Urals region. The supply of Lenin- 
grad with coal from the Donetz will be considerably 
improved by the newly completed line Briansk- 
Viasma. Work is going on at full speed on the con- 
struction of an important main line that will connect 
Moscow with the Donbas. 

Besides new construction, extensive work has been 
carried out for the purpose of reconstructing or 
raising the capacity of existing railways. A second 
track has been laid on the Siberian railway ; the 
gradients on the line have been adjusted, and a new 
line connecting Siberia with the Urals via Kurgan 
has been constructed. Second tracks have been laid 
on the Ekaterinsky railway, which connects the 
Krivoi Rog district with the Donbas, and also on the 
main lines connecting the Donbas with the central 
regions of the U.S.S.R. Important railway junctions, 
such as the stations Yasinovataya and Krasny 


Liman in the Donbas, have been reconstructed, and 
a station for sorting mineral ore has been built on 
the outskirts of the Krivoi Rog mining district. New 
railway junctions have been built at Magnitogorsk, 
Kuznetsk and Karaganda. In the course of the four 
years of the five-year period the railways have 
received 2,660 new goods engines, and 288 passenger 
engines. The construction of a new series of powerful 
goods engines (" FD ") and passenger engines 
(" JS ") is we M under way. During the five-year 
period the total tractive force of the engines has 
increased by 35 per cent. Considerable work has 
been done in connection with the installation of 
automatic block systems on the most congested lines. 
The suburban railways of Moscow, Leningrad and 
Baku have been electrified, electric goods transport 
has also been established on the Suram pass, and 
similar work has been almost completed in the Urals. 
The first results of the exploitation of the electrified 
Suram pass, over which a considerable amount of 
oil is transported from Baku to Batum, have clearly 
proved the advantages of electric traction. Formerly, 
on the steepest incline of the Suram pass, one engine 
could draw a goods train of 250 tons in weight at a 
speed of i o- 1 2 km. per hour ; now, after electrifica- 
tion of the line, one engine draws a train weighing 
500 tons at a speed of 28-30 km. per hour. The 
transporting capacity of this line has been doubled, 
and instead of the former 38-40 engines 12-15 
electric engines have been found sufficient, one 

D Vol. 10 49 


electric engine doing the work of three steam 

In the course of the five-year period the number of 
passenger coaches and goods wagons was increased. 
Many of these were equipped with automatic brakes 
and air pipes. A considerable increase is also to be 
noted in the number of special large-capacity four- 
axle cars, tank cars, special cars for transporting ore 
and coal, isothermic cars, etc. The average carrying 
power of the rolling-stock has also grown. Operations 
that formerly involved considerable manual labour 
are now being mechanised. Mechanisation of the 
loading and unloading operations, which was almost 
unknown before the Revolution, was effected in 1932 
to the extent of 18-3 per cent of all such operations. 
Of course, this rate of mechanisation is considered 
far from satisfactory, and the work of mechanisation 
is being pressed forward. 

Lastly and this is of special importance for rail- 
way transport a marked extension is to be noted in 
the operations of the works supplying railway equip- 
ment. The building of new metallurgical works and 
the reconstruction of the old ones has greatly in- 
creased the capacity of the works producing rails of 
an improved type, which are urgently needed for 
transport. The railway engine- and carriage-building 
works have also been reconstructed and enlarged. 
The construction of large new works in Lugansk 
for the building of powerful engines is nearing com- 
pletion ; a part of the new works began to function 



in October 1933. There are other engine- and wagon- 
building works under construction, among which 
may be mentioned a big wagon-building works in 
the Urals, the construction of which is being pushed 
forward. Electric locomotives are being built for 
the first time in the U.S.S.R. at the Dynamo works 
in Moscow, while a large new factory for the building 
of electric locomotives is being erected in Kashira. 
Work has been started on part of a big factory in 
Moscow which will supply spare parts for railway 
repair workshops. 

All these measures have resulted in a considerable 
increase in the available supplies of railway equip- 
ment, which in turn increases the capacity of the 
railways, assisting them in the successful achieve- 
ment of the transport plan. 

According to the second five-year plan the goods 
traffic of the railways is to reach 300,000 million 
ton-kilometres in 1937, as compared with 169,000 
million ton-km. in 1932. 

In the course of the second five-year plan 11,000 
km. of new railway lines are to be built and handed 
over for exploitation. In this are included the 
Moscow-Donbas line, for the transport of coal from 
the Donbas to the central regions ; the Akmolinsk- 
Kartaly railway, for the transport of Karaganda 
coal to the Urals ; the Karaganda-Balkhash railway, 
which is being built with a view to the development 
of industry in the region of Lake Balkhash ; the 
Ufa-Magnitnaya railway, for transporting the 

5 1 


products of the Magnitogorsk Combine works to the 
western districts ; the Baikal-Amur railway, which 
will connect Transbaikalia with the lower part of 
the river Amur, passing through a region the greater 
part of which has hitherto been almost inaccessible. 
Along with the building of new railways the exist- 
ing lines will be reconstructed with a view to in- 
creasing their transport capacity and extending the 
connections between and within the various regions. 
The principal items of this reconstruction in the 
second five-year period will be the following : the 
electrification of 5,000 km. of railways, the laying of 
9,500 km. of doubled tracks on main lines, principally 
in the eastern part of the U.S.S.R. ; the extension of 
shunting yard tracks by 8,500 km. ; the reconstruc- 
tion of railway lines covering 20,000 km. and the 
installation of automatic block-systems on 8,300 km. 
During the period 1932-37 the number of goods 
train engines will be increased from 16,350 to 19,720, 
or by 26-2 per cent, while their capacity will be 
increased by 51-8 per cent by the construction of 
powerful goods train engines of the series " FD," 
400 electric locomotives, and 270 internal-combus- 
tion engines. The capacity of passenger-train engines 
will be increased by 54-2 per cent by constructing 
new powerful engines of the type " JS." The number 
of goods wagons will be increased during this period 
from 507,900 to 645,000, or by 27 per cent, while 
their carrying power will be increased by 66-3 per 
cent by the construction of large-capacity four-axle 



cars. The entire rolling-stock will be equipped with 
automatic brakes, and a considerable part of it 
with automatic coupling. 

Scientific research work and new inventions have 
played a very important part in the reconstruction 
of railway transport. Scientific institutes have been 
organised for research work in regard to traction, 
railway tracks, electrification, signalling, efficient ex- 
ploitation, supply of materials, establishing standards 
of labour, railway construction work and labour. 

The task set before the institutes of scientific 
research is to solve the problem of the technical 
development of each individual branch of railway 
transport. This research work is not limited to the 
institutes ; a great number of engineers, technicians 
and workers participate in it, assisting with their 
inventions in the work of reconstruction. 

As a result of this scientific research work important 
results have been achieved. In regard to the con- 
struction of engines, two new types of engines have 
been worked out as being the most suitable for the 
railways of the U.S.S.R. : one for goods trains, the 
type " Felix Dzerzhinski " (" FD 1-5-1 ") with an 
axle load of 20 tons and a capacity almost one and 
a half times greater than that of the existing engines 
of the series " E." The tests made with the engines 
" FD " have proved their high working efficiency, 
which is not inferior to that of powerful American 
engines. The building of such engines is well on its 
way at the new Lugansk engine works. 



For passenger trains the accepted type of engine is 
the " Joseph Stalin" type ("JS 1-4-2"), which 
exceeds by one and a half times the capacity and 
speed of the most powerful passenger engine, type 
" SU," that has hitherto been used on the U.S.S.R. 
railways. This type of engine is now also being 
built in considerable numbers. 

The achievements of scientific-technical work 
have also been adopted in the construction of a new 
type of internal-combustion engine (2-5-1) with an 
axle-load of 18-5 tons and a tractive force of 22 tons. 
This new engine is being built at the Kolomensky 
works. Two types of powerful electric locomotives 
have also been constructed for goods as well as for 
passenger trains and are already working on the 
Suram pass. 

Soviet transport has designed and constructed its 
own type of automatic brakes the brakes of Kazan t- 
zeff and Matrosoff. At an international competition 
the automatic brake of Matrosoff won the first prize, 
and it is now being produced in Soviet factories. An 
automatic coupling has also been selected that has 
proved the most suitable for the rolling-stock of 
Soviet transport. 

With the assistance of Soviet designers and scien- 
tific research institutes Soviet industry has succeeded 
in turning out four-axle wagons of great capacity, 
open wagons, tip-up wagons, tank-wagons, etc. 

In regard to rails, the efforts of the designers and 
scientific research institutions have been directed 



towards increasing their strength and producing 
medium-manganese, chrome nickel, chrome-vana- 
dium and other rails of high quality. 

Very interesting and original propositions have 
been made lately with a view to creating super- 
speed means of transport. The author of one of these 
projects is engineer M. Yarmolchuk, who recently 
graduated from the Institute for Transport En- 
gineers. His project shows a most original con- 
struction, the car having the shape of a dirigible, the 
wheels being replaced by spheres, and the rails by a 
groove. The car, driven by electricity, rests on two 
spheres and moves along a special groove on the 
principle of the single-track motion of a bicycle. In 
this electro-sphere-groove system the metal sphere 
replacing the wheel is hollow with the segments at 
the sides cut off ; it is welded and coated with vul- 
canised rubber. In the centre of the sphere is a sta- 
tionary hollow axle, on the ends of which the car is 
suspended. A motor is rigidly fixed to the inside of 
the axle, and through its rollers it rotates the sphere. 
Each car has two spheres placed one behind the 
other, which gives the car a free single-track motion. 
The car is in perfect equilibrium and the spheres are 
stable owing to a low centre of gravity. The speed of 
the car, which holds no passengers, can reach from 
200 to 300 kilometres per hour according to the 
diameter of the sphere. Freight cars have a carrying 
power up to 30 tons. Several such cars make up a 



Engineer Yarmolchuk has been working at his 
system of super-speed transport since the year 1924. 
The first model for testing purposes was constructed 
by him in 1929 at i/25th of its full size. In April 1932 
five cars were constructed, the dimensions of which 
were i/5th of their full size ; they were 6-24 metres 
long, the diameter of the sphere was 75 cm. and they 
were equipped with i -5 h.p. motors. The groove was 
covered with steel with a coating of vulcanised 
rubber. The technical and economic estimates as 
well as practical tests proved the great economic 
efficiency of this system. 

Consequently the Council of People's Com- 
missaries of the U.S.S.R. passed a decision on 
August 15, 1933, to start the construction of a trial 
line of 20-25 kilometres in length of medium 
clearance gauges for the exploitation of the Yarmol- 
chuk system. This line, which will run from Moscow 
to Noginsk, has been supplied with the necessary 
materials and finances and will be completed in a 
short time. 


Compared with other countries the territory of the 
U.S.S.R. abounds in waterways, which reach a 
total length of 421,000 km. Among these are huge 
water arteries with large tributaries which are not 
inferior to the largest waterways of the world. The 
most important rivers are the Lena, with a length 
of 5,300 km. ; the Yenisei, 4,750 km. ; the Irtysh, 



4,150 km. ; the Volga, 3,750 km., and together with 
its tributary the Kama, 5,750 km. ; the Obi, 
3,700 km. ; the Amur, 2,900 km. ; the Ural, 
2,500 km. ; the Dnieper, 2,250 km. ; the Don, 
2,000 km. 

Besides the rivers there are many vast lakes which 
are very convenient for the development of naviga- 
tion. The largest of these are Lake Baikal, with an 
area of 34,000 sq. km. ; Lake Ladoga, 18,000 
sq. km. ; Lake Balkhash, 18,500 sq. km. ; and 
Lake Onega, 9,800 sq. km. 

Most of the navigable rivers approach each other 
at some point in their course, which makes it possible 
to establish an artificial communication between 
them. They flow into ten different seas, the majority 
of which are navigable. 

However, Tsarist Russia made very little use of this 
wealth of water. A striking proof of this statement is 
the river Volga, which at that time was the best 
exploited river of the country. In the year 1913 the 
water-borne traffic on this river together with its 
large tributary the Kama, serving a population of 
45,000,000, was only 23-4 million tons including 
rafts, while the turnover on the Rhine, with a length 
of only 700 km., reached 43 million tons in 1913. 
The total of cargoes carried by the Rhine was 
almost equal to the total cargoes transported by all 
the waterways of Tsarist Russia. 

Owing to the development of the national economy 
of the Soviet Union, particularly in the regions 



lying within reach of navigable rivers, there is now 
a marked growth in the amount of goods transported 
by river. For instance, in 1923 the turnover of river 
transport amounted to only 20 million tons, against 
48 million tons transported in 1913 ; in 1926 it had 
grown to 33 million tons ; in 1928 i.e. on the eve of 
the five-year period it had reached nearly 40 mil- 
lion tons, and in 1929 it exceeded the pre-war level 
and reached the figure of 50-8 million tons. From this 
time the increase continued at a still more rapid rate 
and in 1933 the traffic greatly exceeded the pre-war 
level, reaching 72 million tons. In the first year of the 
second five-year period river transport thus exceeded 
the pre-war figure by 50 per cent. 

The transport of passengers by river showed a still 
greater increase : 

1913 1 1 *2 million people 
1923 8-9 

1928 20-0 

1932 4 8 '5 

In 1924 the number of passengers carried exceeded 
that of the pre-war period, and in 1932 the number 
of passengers carried was 333 per cent greater than 
in 1913. This was the result of the general economic 
development of the country and of the growth of the 
material prosperity and cultural level of the workers. 

In regard to the kind of goods transported by 
inland waterways, there is, as in the case of the rail- 
ways, a marked change brought about by the indus- 
trialisation of the country ; the volume of traffic of 



the products of heavy industry has greatly increased. 

The development of the productive forces of the 
more remote regions, particularly in the east, has 
considerably increased the transport on these river 
basins. For example, during the period 1928-32 the 
entire goods turnover of river transport increased by 
8 1 per cent, while the cargo turnover of the northern 
river basins, including the Northern Dvina and 
Pechora, rose 455-6 per cent, that of the Siberian 
rivers, including the Obi, Yenisei, Irtysh and Lena 
increased by 226-3 per cent, that of the Amur, in the 
Far East, by 200 per cent, and lastly the goods trans- 
ported by the rivers of Central Asia and Lake 
Balkhash increased by 1,000 per cent. 

The successful handling of this increased amount of 
work was due to the reconstruction and rationalisa- 
tion of the means of river transport. 

A striking instance of the considerable im- 
provement in the exploitation of the fleet is the 
growing efficiency per indicated horse-power and per 
ton of carrying power. For instance, in 1913 the 
cargo carried per indicated horse-power of the self- 
propelled fleet was 35-2 tons ; in 1929 it rose to 
67-3 tons, and at the present time it has reached 
about 100 tons. In 1913 the load on each ton of 
carrying power of non-self-propelled vessels (barges, 
rafts, etc.) was 2-5 tons ; in 1929 this load was 
7 3 tons, and at the present time it has reached 
10 tons. Consequently there is a greatly intensified 
exploitation of the river fleet, which has been 



attained by means of a correct planning system and 
the rational use of the means of transport. The latter 
have also grown in number as a result of the exten- 
sion of navigable waterways. In 1929 the total length 
of navigable water routes was 74,000 kilometres, 
while in 1933 it had risen to 85,000 km. This is due 
to the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, 
the establishment of direct through traffic on the 
Dnieper after doing away with the rapids, and the 
introduction of navigation on the Siberian rivers 
Hatanga, Indigirka and Kolyma. 

Together with increasing the length of navigable 
waterways much work has been done to improve 
them. In 1933 about 49,000 kilometres of river 
routes were equipped for night traffic. Dredging was 
carried out on rivers to a total length of 30,400 km. 
These facts indicate to what extent the conditions of 
river navigation have been improved during the 
last few years. 

Considerable additions were made to the river 
transport equipment during the first five-year period 
and in 1933. Taking the number of steamships 
available in 1928 as 100, their number had increased 
by 1933 to 174, and that of the non-self-propelling 
vessels to 189. A characteristic feature of this growth 
is that it was not only shown in the quantity of the 
ships, but also in their quality. The new ships are 
more up to date, with greater capacity and greater 
carrying power, and they can develop a much 
greater speed. 



Considerable success was obtained in the creation 
of industrial bases for the commercial fleet by means 
of reconstruction and re-equipment of old wharves 
and the construction of big new shipbuilding works. 
The repair shops, the yards for building wooden 
vessels and the principal river ports were supplied 
with new equipment. The mechanisation of the 
loading and unloading work was undertaken, a vast 
network of storehouses, refrigerators and elevators 
was established, and a forwarding service was lor the 
first time introduced in river transport. However, it 
must be frankly admitted that all the work performed 
has not been sufficient to meet the requirements of 
the developing economy of the country. For this 
reason it has been decided to continue the work of 
developing and reconstructing river transport during 
the second five-year period, i.e. in 1933-37. To meet 
the requirements of the national economy of the 
country the amount of goods transported along the 
rivers in 1937 must reach 90 million tons against 47 
million tons transported by ships and barges in 1932. 

The intense growth of the demand for transport 
necessitates the addition of 17,000 kilometres of 
navigable waterways. This requires hydro- technical 
work on a very large scale. After the completion of 
the White Sea-Baltic Canal, the Volga-Moscow 
Canal, with a length of 127 km., must be built and 
handed over for exploitation, which will once for all 
solve the problem of the water supply of the city 
of Moscow ; construction will be started on the 



Volga-Don Canal, 100 km. long, which will connect 
the Volga with the Black Sea, while the Mariinsky 
and the Moskvoretsky water systems will be recon- 
structed, and a number of rivers in the north, in 
Siberia and the Far East will be included in the 
transport system. 

Along with the extension of navigable waterways 
the reconstruction of the principal river ports will 
be continued, including all the work required for 
this purpose. But the chief item in the second five- 
year plan for river transport is the construction of a 
new merchant fleet and the increase in the number 
of ships of a better type. 


The territory of the Soviet Union is surrounded 
by a number of seas. The total length of the boun- 
daries of the U.S.S.R. is 60,000 kilometres, of which 
75 per cent is sea coastline. However, until recently a 
substantial part of the coastline, that of the Arctic 
Ocean, was not made use of, and therefore had no 
great importance from the point of view of transport, 
for which the most important seas are the Caspian 
Sea, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Baltic Sea 
and the Sea of Japan. During the last decade, 
particularly in the course of the first five-year period, 
there has been a marked development of the 
productive forces of the regions along the sea-coast. 
The growth of industry, agriculture, forestry and the 
general development of the national economy of 



regions adjoining the sea-coast has created the 
problem of developing the sea routes, finding new 
ways of communication, building ports and organ- 
ising a powerful merchant service. From year to 
year new ships have been added to strengthen the 
sea transport system, the greatest increase in this 
connection having taken place during the first five- 
year period. Taking the carrying capacity of the 
mercantile marine in 1929 as 100, it had reached 
213 in 1932, and had risen to 250 in 1933. 

The growth of the carrying capacity of the 
mercantile marine is not only the result of an 
increased number of ships, but each ship had 
increased its carrying power. For instance, in 1929 
the average carrying capacity per steamer was 1,510 
tons ; by 1931 it had risen to 1,890 tons, and by 
1933 it had already reached 2,250 tons. Almost one- 
third of the existing fleet began to operate in the 
course of the last five years, during which period 
considerable renewals and additions have been made. 

Together with the growth of the merchant marine 
we may note the increase in the quantity of the goods 
shipped by sea. This is clearly seen from the follow- 
ing table : 

Amount of cargoes shipped by 
Tears sea (tons) 

1913 33,069,000 

1924 10,118,000 

1928 18,416,000 

1932 34>349>o 


As the table shows, the greatest increase has taken 
place during the last few years. This is directly 
connected with the growth of the sea-going fleet 
during those years, although it has required a longer 
period of time to restore the capacity of sea transport 
than in the case of any other kind of transport. In 
1932 sea transport exceeded the pre-war level by 
only 3*9 per cent, while railway transport showed an 
excess of 157*7 P er cent > an d river transport 38 per 

There is also a marked change in the kind of goods 
transported as compared with the pre-war period, 
showing a great increase of industrial cargoes. 


(in thousands of tons) 

1932, in 

Class of Cargo 



of *9*3 

Total carried 
including : 
Machinery, implements and 
parts of same 










The greatest increase is in the transport of machi- 
nery, metals and oil products, which is the result of 
the fact that the U.S.S.R. has changed from an 
agricultural country into an industrial one. 

The sea transport of the U.S.S.R. consists of three 
types : the coasting trade within the limits of each 


sea, shipments from one sea to another, and lastly 
transport connected with the foreign trade of the 
U.S.S.R. The coasting service is most important in 
the Caspian Sea, where the transport of oil is 
concentrated on a big scale. The Caspian fleet has 
to convey oil products to Astrakhan, whence they 
are shipped to the north along the Volga and re- 
shipped in various directions. Oil and oil products 
are also transported between Baku and Mahach- 
Kala, where they are transferred to the railway to 
be conveyed to the interior regions of the country. 

The second place in the coasting trade belongs to 
the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, where the freight 
transported includes oil, grain, coal, ore, cement, 
sugar, salt, etc. In the other seas of the U.S.S.R. the 
transport along the coasts is less considerable. 

The shipments from one sea to another are concen- 
trated in two principal directions : firstly, between 
the Black and the Baltic Seas, chiefly for the purpose 
of supplying Leningrad with oil and oil products, 
the return freight consisting mostly of machinery 
and tools ; and secondly, between the Black Sea and 
Vladivostok, for shipping oil, salt, grain, cement, 
etc., to the Far East. Recently a third sea route has 
been used, through the Arctic Ocean from Archangel 
to Vladivostok. 

Nearly all the seas of the U.S.S.R. participate in 
export and import shipments, the greatest share 
belonging to the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the 
White Sea. 

E Vol. w 65 


Sea transport as well as the other sections of 
transport has fulfilled the plan of the first five- 
year period. The amount of freight carried has 
increased, the number of ships has grown, and the 
shipments made in Soviet ships have greatly 
increased ; considerable work has been done in 
regard to the organisation of ports and the mechanis- 
ation of loading and unloading work. 

The most interesting achievements in the exten- 
sion of sea transport are the construction of the 
White Sea-Baltic Canal, which connects the Baltic 
Sea with the White Sea, and the work done towards 
the establishment of a direct northern sea route from 
the west to the east through the Arctic Ocean. 

During the last few years shipbuilding has been 
placed on a solid industrial basis, and in the course 
of the second five-year period will supply the sea 
transport system with vessels of special types, such 
as ships with refrigerator equipment, special vessels 
for carrying timber, ice-breakers, tanks, etc., in 
which the latest internal-combustion engines and 
improved types of steam engines and motors will be 

In the course of the second five-year period the 
work of the sea transport system will be increased 
almost three times. During the period 1932-37 the 
ton-kilometres of cargoes carried by the Soviet sea 
fleet will be increased from 18,000 million to 51,000 
million ton-kilometres. 

Along with the reconstruction and extension of 



the fleet during the second five-year period prelim- 
inary work has been started for the construction of a 
Volga-Don Canal. In the second five-year period a 
regular freight and passenger service will be estab- 
lished between the northern territories of the Soviet 
Union and the Far East. 

In regard to the development of ports, the second 
five-year plan provides for the continuation of the 
work begun during the first five-year period on the 
construction of ports at the estuary of the river 
Pechora, in the village of Soroka, situated at the out- 
let of the Baltic-White Sea Canal, as well as at 
Murmansk, Kherson and Baku. 

The reorganisation of the ports will have for its 
object the extension of mooring facilities, the 
mechanisation of the loading process, the develop- 
ment of storage, the improvement of conditions for 
the exploitation of ships and the cultural require- 
ments of the passengers. 

The output of shipyards in 1932 was three and a 
half times that of 1927-28. The maritime shipyards 
during the four years of the first five-year plan 
produced 86 commercial ships with a capacity of 
from i ,000 tons (fishing trawlers) to 18,700 tons 
(tankers) . Pre-revolutionary shipbuilding, in spite of 
all the privileges granted by the Tsarist Government, 
laid down the keels of only nine commercial ships, 
with a total capacity of 3,800 tons, during a period 
of thirteen years. The tonnage of ships built during 
the first five-year plan was over 200,000 tons and 


exceeded eight times the tonnage of all ships built in 
Tsarist Russia in thirteen years. 

New types of Soviet ships have been created : two 
types of motor-driven refrigerating vessels with a 
capacity of 2,400 and 3,200 tons respectively, motor 
passenger vessels carrying 550 passengers, tankers 
with a capacity of 7,500 and 10,000 tons, cargo ships 
of 6,500 tons, timber-carrying ships of 5,500 tons. 

The building of the hulls of large vessels, which 
formerly occupied from ten to eighteen months, has 
been reduced to from six to seven months, and three 
months for trawlers. The introduction of internal- 
combustion engines made it possible to shorten the 
time of completion on the water to from two to 
three months, whereas it formerly often took no less 
than two and a half years. Electric welding is being 
largely used, quickening and cheapening ship- 

Considerable improvements and extensions of 
shipping facilities were made in the ports during the 
first five-year plan. Fourteen docks were reorganised 
in Archangel ; new wharves near the lumber-mills, 
new warehouses and a coal basin were constructed ; 
channels were deepened and the docks generally 

Since 1932 work on the construction of Pechora 
port has been in full swing. 

In Leningrad, a mechanised harbour with eight 
docks for deep draft vessels was built on a low lying 
island ; a pier for loading timber has been built, 



and the storage capacity has been increased by 
means of new iron and concrete warehouses. The 
port of Leningrad has been technically equipped 
and brought up to date. 

A number of ports, such as Kherson, Novosibirsk, 
Batum, Baku, Mariupol and Vladivostok, have 
undergone a radical reorganisation and mechanisa- 
tion. The port of Murmansk has been completely 

The second five-year period will raise Soviet sea 
transport to a higher stage of development to meet 
the requirements of the country's economy. 


Transport by air did not exist in Tsarist Russia. 
The Soviet Union created this form of transport, 
and has successfully developed it. 

The first air line began to function in the summer 
of 1922 ; this was the Moscow-Kovno-Koenigsberg 
line, organised by the Soviet-German United 
Company for Air Transport, the " Deruluft." Later 
this line was extended to Berlin, and new air lines 
were established between Leningrad and Riga and 
Leningrad and Berlin. 

In 1923 an extensive campaign was started among 
the workers of all the republics of the Union with 
the object of establishing independent air lines, 
creating Soviet aviation. Associations like " Dobro- 
let," " Ukraine Air Transport, 55 " Transcaucasian 



Aviation/ 5 and the " Friends of the Air Fleet " were 
organised at that time. The first Soviet air lines were 
established, using at first foreign aeroplanes. These 
lines covered the European part of the U.S.S.R., 
Transcaucasia and Central Asia. They were generally 
welcomed, and were at once placed on a sound basis, 
particularly the line of Moscow-Kharkov-Rostov- 
Baku, which connected the centre of the U.S.S.R. 
with the centre of the Ukraine, Northern Caucasus 
and Transcaucasia, as also the lines of Central Asia. 
In 1924 " Transcaucasian Aviation " was incor- 
porated with " Ukraine Air Transport," and this 
line covered the whole territory of the Ukraine, 
North Caucasus and the Transcaucasian Federated 
Soviet Republic. The " Ukraine Air Transport " 
and the " Dobrolet " also started survey work from 

During the following years the network of air 
lines grew very rapidly in the U.S.S.R., as can be 
seen from the table given below. 


1922 1,200 kilometres 

1923 1,666 

1924 5,248 
1926 6,660 
1928 n,442 

1932 32,000 

1933 3 

At the present time a number of main air lines 
have established inter-regional connections within 



the U.S.S.R. Such are : (i) the line Moscow- 
Kharkov-Rostov-Mineral Springs-Baku-Tiflis ; (2) 
the line Moscow-Samara-Orenburg-Tashkent ; (3) 
Moscow-Kazan - Magnitogorsk - Karaganda - Alma- 
Ata, which passes through the Tartar Republic, the 
very important Magnitogorsk metallurgical centre, 
the Karaganda coalfields and Alma-Ata, located 
near the centre of Kazakstan ; and (4) the longest 
main line connecting Moscow with the Urals, 
Siberia and the Far East, i.e. the line Moscow- 
Sverdlovsk-No vosibirsk-Irkutsk- Khabarovsk -Vla- 

Besides these main air lines for inter-regional com- 
munication there are other main lines of minor 
length, viz. Leningrad-Moscow, Moscow-Minsk, 
Archangel-Siktyvkar (the centre of the Komi 
district) , Moscow-Stalingrad, Kharkov-Odessa, 
Moscow - Kiev, Omsk - Semipalatinsk - Alma-Ata - 
Tashkent, an air line leading to Yakutsk, and others. 
There are also air lines of local character for com- 
munication within the districts. 

In regard to the development of the Soviet air 
fleet the most characteristic feature is the construc- 
tion of Soviet air craft. In the beginning transport 
by air was effected by means of aeroplanes which the 
Soviet Government purchased abroad. In the course 
of the first five-year period the Soviet Union created 
its own aviation industry, and at the present time 
it produces aeroplanes with many motors of the new 
type " Ant- 1 4" for a score of passengers, all-steel 


aeroplanes " Steel-2," one-motor great speed planes, 
and many motor mail planes, planes for carrying 
freight, hydroplanes and dirigibles. 

The first attempts in the field of dirigible building 
were made in 1920-25. Out of the scrap of old air- 
ships and aeroplane parts the first dirigibles of a 
small cubic capacity were built. They were "The 
Red Star" in 1920, "October VI 5 ' (170 cubic 
metres) in 1923, and " Khemik-Rezinchik " (2,400 
cubic metres) in 1925. 

The serious construction of airships began only 
during the first five-year plan. Dirigible building 
immediately attracted the attention of the working 
masses, and large sums were collected for the con- 
struction of the first airship. The workers of Moscow 
and other industrial centres were initiators in the 
movement to secure Soviet-made airships. The news- 
paper Pravda backed the initiative of the Moscow 
workers and in a short time twenty-seven million 
rubles were collected by means of voluntary dona- 
tions. In 1930 the students of the Moscow Aviation 
Institute, together with the workers of the Kauchuk 
(rubber) factory contributed the envelope for a 

In August 1930 a dirigible with a capacity of 
2,500 cubic metres, the " Komsomolskaya Pravda/ 5 
was built. 

In the first half of 1932 three new dirigibles were 
built : B-i (2,200 cu. m.), B-2 (5,000 cu. m.), 
and 6-3 (6,800 cu. m.). All these dirigibles were 



of the so-called " soft " type. At the end of the first 
five-year plan the production of semi-rigid airships 
began, and on May i, 1933, the first Soviet semi- 
rigid dirigible 6-5, with a cubic capacity of 2,150 
cu. m. 5 was completed. In the summer of 1933 
the design for the first semi-rigid dirigible in the 
U.S.S.R. with a cubic capacity of 18,500 cu. m. 
was completed, and construction was begun. Simul- 
taneously, the construction of a high-speed semi- 
rigid airship of 9,150 cu. m. was begun. In Novem- 
ber 1933 some young Soviet specialists completed 
the design for the first airship with a cubic capacity 
of 50,000 cubic metres. At present the problem of 
a metal-framed airship is being solved. In 1936 
the air fleet of the U.S.S.R. will receive the first 
metal framed airship with a cubic capacity of 8,000 

As examples of the usefulness of airships, we may 
point to airship 6-3, which flew from Moscow to 
Kharkov-Slavyansk and back, and from Moscow to 
Kazan and back ; airship B-i flew from Slavyansk 
to Sebastopol and then on to Moscow. It also made 
a number of trips over the Black Sea. 

The flights of 1933 showed the complete practical 
possibility of using the airships for passenger and 
cargo traffic. 

The air fleet has a staff of splendid workers famous 
not only in their own country, but also abroad, such 
as engineer Tupoleff, the constructor of the all-steel 
planes, aviators like Babushkin, Vodopianov, A. 



Liapidevsky, S. Levanevsky, Petroff, Slepnev, Galy- 
sheff, Doronin, H. Kamanin and V. Molokov, who 
have made a number of heroic flights, some of them 
under most difficult conditions in the Arctic regions. 
They have all received high rewards from the Soviet 
Government, and the aviators Liapidevsky, Levanev- 
sky, Slepnev, Doronin, Kamanin and Molokov bear 
the title of " heroes of the Soviet Union " for their 
splendid work in the rescuing of the members of the 
Cheliushkin expedition. 

The struggle for the establishment of a strong civil 
air transport system with the object of increasing 
inter-regional connections, particularly with the 
distant regions of the Soviet Union, is illustrated by 
the following figures showing the great increase in 
the work performed by Soviet aeroplanes : 


Freight and mail 

Tears Passengers in tons 

1922 276 13 

1925 6, 1 06 85 

1928 10,613 255 

193 J 4^75 34 

1932 31,600 i, 006 

1933 42,5 3>456 

According to the second five-year plan the length 
of the air lines of All-Union importance will reach 
85,000 kilometres in 1937. It has also been planned 
to establish local air lines, the length to be exploited 
to reach 35,000 km. in 1937. The part played and 



the place taken by air transport in the unified trans- 
port system of the U.S.S.R. will therefore reach a 
very high level by 1937. 

Aviation is being developed in the U.S.S.R. not 
only as a means of transport ; it participates directly 
in the industrial life of the country and finds applica- 
tion in approximately forty various forms of national 
economy. It has become particularly important in 
agriculture in consequence of the special features in 
the development of agriculture in the Soviet Union, 
based on collective large-scale production. 

Aviation is being widely adopted in agriculture 
and forestry in the fight against pests. In 1933 the 
area covered by aeroplanes engaged in this work 
exceeded 400,000 hectares. In 1933 aeroplanes were 
also used for the annihilation of malaria mosquitoes 
over an area of 750,000 hectares. 

In 1931 an interesting experiment was made for 
the first time in sowing rice from aeroplanes. The 
result was quite satisfactory and was thereafter 
adapted to other crops, in particular to the sowing 
of tree seeds and fodder grass. A most interesting 
experiment was the sowing of wheat from aeroplanes. 
In all these trials the results were quite satisfactory, 
both in regard to the crop and the cost of production, 
and in 1933 aeroplane sowing was adopted on an 
area of 137,000 hectares. At the present time aviation 
engineers are engaged in designing new types of 
aeroplanes that will be especially suitable for aero- 
plane sowing. 



Aviation has also been useful in the country's 
economy in connection with surveying work. In 
1933 150,000 square kilometres were photographed 
from the air, giving useful results in the surveying of 
fisheries and hunting-grounds, and in other instances. 
Owing to the system of planning the entire economic 
work of the country it has been possible to make 
considerable use of aviation in many spheres to 
which it would otherwise not have been applied. 


During the last five years inter-regional connec- 
tions have developed at the same time as all kinds of 
inter-regional and local transport. A most prominent 
part is played by u rail-less 5 ' transport road trans- 
port by motor vehicles and horses. This kind of 
transport includes a very considerable proportion of 
transport of goods to points where they are trans- 
ferred to other means of transport, as well as trans- 
port to the places of consumption. 

It is quite evident, therefore, that the increase of 
goods carried by railways, river, sea and air in- 
evitably causes an increase of the goods turnover 
of road transport. However, its function is not 
limited to this kind of work. 

Road transport has its own independent work to 
perform, carrying goods from the places of despatch 
to the points of delivery. It performs this function 
over a considerable radius around each industrial 



centre, supplying the centre with agricultural pro- 
ducts, timber and other goods, and in return con- 
veying manufactured goods to the agricultural 
districts. In some parts of the U.S.S.R. inter-regional 
transport also is carried out by motor vehicles and 
horses, for instance on the Kachug highway ex- 
tending over a length of several hundred kilo- 
metres. Goods intended for the district of Yakutsk 
are brought by rail to Irkutsk, where they are 
transferred to road transport, which conveys them 
to the port of Kachug on the river Lena, and they 
are then shipped from there to Yakutsk. 

The requirements to be met by road transport 
have grown immensely during the last few years in 
connection with the reconstruction of the country's 
economy, the growth of new industrial centres in 
distant parts of the country, the development of 
urban construction, the building of a number of 
new cities like Magnitogorsk and Kusnetsk, as well 
as the establishment of agricultural centres distri- 
buted all over the territory of the U.S.S.R., viz. 
State farms and tractor stations, and the change 
from peasant farming to collective production on a 
large scale. 

Formerly the peasant was contented with bad 
country roads and unpaved highways, on which he 
moved along with his miserable horse from village 
to village, from the village to the railway station and 
to the nearest town. The big centres of agricultural 
production of the present time, however, require 



roads fit for motor transport. Formerly the regions 
of the national minorities, particularly in Central 
Asia, were conspicuous for their lack of roads ; now 
these same districts, with their economic and cultural 
development, urgently require the construction of 
roads. Formerly in many parts of the country in- 
dustry and agriculture were still in a patriarchal 
primitive state, with antiquated means of production, 
and could do without communication with other 
regions ; this condition now belongs to the past, and 
in its place new types of cultivation and collective 
production have developed which are in urgent 
need of safe and reliable transport connections with 
other parts of the country. 

The great importance of road transport for 
a Socialist economy, and the roadless state in 
which the country was left at the end of the 
Tsarist regime, have confronted the Soviet Govern- 
ment with the task of road construction on a large 

The construction of roads of general as well as 
local importance has been developing. Many re- 
publics and districts which formerly had not a 
single kilometre of good roads, have built them 
since the Revolution. In Central Asia, for instance, 
there were no roads of an improved type in the past ; 
while now there are more than 2,500 kilometres of 
such roads. By January i, 1931, roads of the improved 
type in Karelia had reached a length of 1,146 km. 
At that time Bashkiria had constructed 32,000 km. 



of roads, Kazakstan 84,000 km., the Transcaucasian 
republics 19,000 km. 

The greatest extension of roads for motor and 
horse transport has been reached in the Moscow 
district, which has 800 km. of roads to every 1,000 
square km. The second place belongs to the Chuvash 
Socialist Republic with 700 km. to every 1,000 
square km., followed by the Crimean Republic with 
600 km., the Western district and White Russia 
with 530 km., the Ukraine with 500 km., the Central 
Black Earth district with 450 km., and the Nishe- 
gorodsky district with 350 km. to every 1,000 square 
km. A smaller extension of these roads is now being 
made in the eastern districts. 

According to the estimate made in 1931 the total 
length of roads for motor and horse transport in the 
U.S.S.R. amounted to 1,300,000 km., of which 
41,000 km. were paved with stone ; 93,000 km. of 
improved roads were built during the first five-year 
period. Roads of great length were built, such as the 
Amur -Yakutsk highway of 869 km., the Chuisky 
highway of 598 km., and the Usinsky highway of 
345 km. 

The greatest achievement in the sphere of road 
transport is the creation of a motor transport system, 
which practically did not exist in Tsarist Russia, as 
the 8,000 motor-cars which it possessed, and of which 
little more than a thousand were lorries, hardly 
counted. All these cars were imported from other 



At the present time the Soviet Union possesses 
some very large works engaged in the building of 
motor-cars, of which the most important are the 
Moscow works named after Stalin, the Molotov 
works in Gorki, organised during the first five-year 
period, and the Yarolslav works. In 1932 these 
works produced 23,879 cars ; in 1933 49,753 cars. 
At the beginning of the first five-year period (1927- 
32} the motor park of the U.S.S.R. consisted of 
18,700 cars, of which by far the greater part were 
of foreign origin. On January i, 1933, the motor 
park had increased to 73,000 cars, and in the course 
of the year 1933 49,753 new cars were built. 

During the first five-year period the number of 
motor- transport lines increased from 265 to 582, and 
their length from 14,582 km. to 35,255 km. 

At the XVIIth Congress of the Communist Party 
the following decision was taken regarding the 
development of the motor-car industry : the capacity 
of the Gorki works was to be increased to 300,000 
cars per year, that of the Stalin works in Moscow 
to 80,000, and that of the Guridan works to 25,000 
five-ton trucks. New motor factories were to be built 
in Ufa and Stalingrad for turning out three-ton 
trucks, at the rate of 100,000 cars per year each ; 
and new works were to be established in Samara 
with a capacity of 25,000 five-ton trucks per year. 

Thus in the near future the motor-car works will 
be able to supply the country with 700,000 new cars 
every year. 



Such a development of the automobile industry 
shows what great importance is attached to motor 
transport in the U.S.S.R. 

The amount of goods carried by motor transport 
in 1932 reached 1,000 million ton-kilometres ; 
according to the second five-year plan it will reach 
16,000 million ton-km. in 1937. The great increase 
in the number of motor-cars will require a very 
considerable intensification of the work of con- 
structing roads of an improved type. In the course 
of the second five-year period 210,000 km. of such 
roads are to be built, in addition to roads built at 
the expense of local organisations. 

The most important highways included in the plan 
of construction for the second five-year period are 
the following : 








Moreover the construction of a number of im- 
portant highways in Siberia, Kazakstan, Central 
Asia and in the north will be completed. 

In this way the task of putting an end to the lack 
of roads will be fulfilled in the second five-year 

F Vol. 10 8 1 


The working masses of the Soviet Union are taking 
an active part in this work. In 1927 a society was 
organised for the promotion of motor transport and 
motor roads. It is called " Avtodor," and the num- 
ber of its members has now reached three millions. 

The society has branches all over the country, in 
big industrial centres as well as in the remotest 
villages, and is very popular among the workers of 
the Soviet Union, who are most anxious to achieve 
complete mastery over the motor-car, the tractor, 
the motor-boat and the motor-cycle. This explains 
the rapid development of the " Avtodor " society, 
the functions of which include spreading the idea 
of the use of motors and tractors among the masses 
of the population, giving the country millions of 
well-trained car drivers and tractor operators, 
taking an active part in the building of improved 
roads, and fighting for the use of motors in road 

A striking example of the important part played 
by the " Avtodor " society in the building of roads 
is the result obtained in the Chuvash republic. Here 
this society organised a special " week for construct- 
ing roads " in the course of which the population 
managed to build 374 km. of regional roads and 600 
km. of roads for the collective farms, to repair 6,000 
km. of village roads, to straighten out 1 65 km. of 
roads, to cut through woods, to root up the stumps 
on many hectares of ground, to build new bridges 
and repair old ones. 



During this week the population of the eighteen 
districts of the Chuvash republic performed an 
amount of work estimated as 140,000 men days and 
1 15,000 horse days. At the present time the Chuvash 
republic has 534 roads extending over 6,500 km., 
and in regard to the number of roads takes the second 
place after the Moscow district. 

Another no less striking example of the important 
part played by the " Avtodor " society is the result 
of the motor run Moscow~Kara-Kum~Moscow or- 
ganised by the society in 1933. Twenty-three cars 
of the Gorki automobile works and the Stalin works 
of Moscow, built entirely of Soviet materials, took 
part in this run, the chief object of which was to 
test the quality and durability of Soviet cars and 
Soviet rubber under the most difficult circumstances. 

The route lay through nineteen different republics 
and districts along the good roads of the Chuvash 
republic and the rough village roads of the Tartar 
and Middle Volga districts, across the deserts and 
semi-deserts of Kazakstan, under the scorching sun 
of Uzbekistan, Tadshikstan and Turkmenia, across 
the unexplored desert of Kara-Kum with its sands 
and dangerous salt marshes, across the mountainous 
part of Azerbaijan, over the steep and dangerous 
Chombarski pass, through the capital of Georgia 
Tiflis and along the Georgian military road to the 
north of the Caucasus and from there back to 

This run demonstrated the good quality and 



durability of the Soviet cars and rubber, the cars 
reaching Moscow after a run of 87 days, having 
covered over 10,000 km. without a single break- 

This run was also remarkable for the great interest 
in the Soviet machines shown by the population, and 
their eagerness to participate in the development of 
motor transport. 

In Central Asia, from Cherniayev to Tashkent, 
350,000 collective farmers stood in a double row 
along the road for 28 km., greeting the passing 
motor-cars and throwing to them flowers, melons, 
grapes, peaches and apples. In the Gishduvansk 
region the collective farmers erected 118 arches on 
the 30-km. passage of the motor-cars, these arches 
being beautifully decorated with carpets, silk shawls, 
bunches of grapes, melons, etc. The collective 
farmers of the Khorean district repeatedly watered 
the road in their district, having heard that dust 
might be harmful to the motors. It must be noted 
that in this district water is obtained with great 
difficulty and is worth its weight in gold. Each 
district, each collective farm, manifested in its own 
way the genuine enthusiasm felt by them for the 
Soviet-built motor-car, which had been created 
during the first five-year period. 


The planned system of Soviet economy makes 
it possible to construct postal and telegraphic 


communications in conformity with the transport 
system and with the general economic interests of 
the country. 

We can safely say that posts and telegraphs were, 
in Tsarist Russia, one of the most backward de- 
partments of economic and cultural life. It is enough 
to say that in Tsarist Russia 60 per cent of the vil- 
lages had no postal service at all, and instead of the 
hundred thousand village postmen now working in 
the Soviet Union there were none. In 1913, for a 
population of 139 million occupying an area of 
21-8 million square kilometres, there were only 
12,800 post offices, which were mostly concentrated 
in towns in the European part of Russia. 

In 1913 there was one post office to 10,900 people 
and to an area of 1,700 square km., while in 1933 
there was one to every 3,700 people and to an area 
of 480 square km. In the pre-war period the transport 
of posts was carried on by railways for 58,500 km., 
by water for 39,900 km., and over unmade roads for 
170,900 kms. There were no motor or air lines. As 
a result correspondence travelled at a very slow 

Electrical communication was in an embryo state. 
The length of the telegraph and telephone lines was 
502 thousand km. in 1913, and the Soviet Union 
now possesses 1,653 thousand km. In 1913 there was 
a total absence of brass and bimetallic wires for 
distant calls, but in 1933 there were 72 thousand km. 
of these in the U.S.S.R. 



Telegraph and telephone communications were 
totally absent in the rural districts, whereas in the 
Soviet Union 47 per cent of village Soviets had 
telephones in 1933. The out-of-date apparatus of 
the " Klapfer and Morse " system dominated the 
telegraph system, constituting 96 per cent of the 
total of 8,225 transmitters. 

For every 1,000 town dwellers in 1913 there were 
7-6 telephone subscribers, whereas in the U.S.S.R. 
in 1933 these averaged more than 10-5 subscribers. 
The means of communication of Tsarist Russia had 
an old-fashioned equipment, including all existing 
sorts of telephones. The imperialist war and then the 
civil war, as in the case of transport, seriously 
affected the technically weak and little developed 
system of communications. A considerable number 
of telegraph and telephone lines were destroyed, 
electrical equipment and apparatus grew old, the 
already small number of post offices diminished, and 
lines of communication deteriorated. Before the 
first five-year plan the Soviet Government had put 
in order and reconstructed the means of communi- 
cation which had been destroyed. But the recon- 
struction of the existing means of communication 
was not sufficient for the new demands of the country. 
To satisfy the continuously growing demands with 
the old technically backward means of communica- 
tion was totally impossible. An absence of rapid and 
efficient communication between the centre of the 
Soviet Union and the republics, regions, districts, 



and local and large-scale enterprises, as well as 
between regional centres and village Soviets, and 
State and collective farms, necessarily had a negative 
influence on the development of the economic life of 
the U.S.S.R. For this reason immediately after the 
pre-war level of production had been reached in 
1927, the question of a wide reconstruction of all 
systems of communication arose. This found its 
reflection in the first five-year plan. 

In 1932 the interchange of communications 
reached a total of 9,800 working units ; this was 
almost four times the pre-war total, and three times 
larger than the figure on the eve of the first five- 
year plan. The post penetrated to every far-away 
corner of the Soviet Union, and included not only 
towns and workers' settlements but all villages. 
Letters and newspapers are now delivered in the 
great majority of places in the U.S.S.R, regularly 
four times in each five-day week, and in many vil- 
lages and the majority of machine-tractor stations 

The number of post offices has increased from 
12,600 in 1928 to 44,600 in 1932, and the number 
of village postmen has increased from 20,000 to 

In towns and workers 5 settlements the delivery of 
correspondence and newspapers has reached ten 
times a day in large centres and twice in district 

The total capacity of telephone stations in towns 


has increased from 290 thousand subscribers in 1928 
to 580 thousand in 1933. A new system of automatic 
telephone stations has been created with a capacity 
of 133 thousand subscribers in 1933. 

Transmitters have been widely introduced in 
factories and electric power stations for means of 
communication. At present Moscow has electrical 
communication with all capitals of republics and 
regional and district centres, including the most 
remote, as well as with the larger industrial enter- 
prises. In their turn all capitals of republics and 
regional and district centres have electrical com- 
munication with their districts, a condition hardly 
existing before the Revolution. 

In 1933 47 per cent of all village Soviets (the 
total for the U.S.S.R. being 64-8 thousand), 
2,291 machine-tractor stations and 800 Soviet farms 
have electrical communication with their regional 

The number of telephones on local lines increased 
from 19,300 in 1928 to 56,000 in 1933. The length of 
telegraph and telephone lines increased from 
890,000 km. in 1933 to 1,653,000 km. ; of the brass 
and bimetallic wires, which are characteristic of the 
period of technical reconstruction, from 36 thousand 
km. to 72 thousand km. 

During the first five-year plan a number of new 
brass and bimetallic main lines (Moscow-Sverd- 
lovsk, Novorossisk-Sverdlovsk-Chelyabinsk-Magni- 
togorsk, Moscow-Samara, Moscow-Stalinogorsk, 


Kazlow-Saratov, Samara-Orenburg-Bulak, Char- 
khov-Esyum-Arktyomovsk, and a number of 
others) were put into operation. These points were 
connected not only with each other but also with 
Moscow, All main telephone and telegraph lines were 
equipped with apparatus for multiple calling, the 
Soviet Union having organised the production of 
these technically complicated devices. 

The first telegraph-telephone underground cable 
Donbas-Kharkov-Moscow is being constructed. 

Besides foreign systems of telegraph apparatus. 
Soviet rapid action instruments have been invented 
by the Soviet specialist engineers, Shorin and 
Treml, and are being put into use. Their working 
capacity is not lower than that of the foreign-made 
instruments. A new type of communication has been 
created in the radio. The number of radio-telegraph- 
telephone transmitters on main lines has increased 
from 49 in 1928 to 1 10 in 1933, and their power from 
1 02 kw. to 328 kw. that is, three times. Powerful 
ultra short-wave radio-telephone-telegraph trans- 
mitters of 15 kw. are in wide use. In 1933 the 
U.S.S.R. had radio and cable connections with New 
York, Angora, Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, Vienna, 
Berne, Teheran and Shanghai. Experiments on 
ultra short-wave radio communication and television 
have been extensively made. There is photographic 
transmission between Moscow-Tashkent by radio 
and Moscow-Leningrad and Moscow-Sverdlovsk by 
cable. The Soviet Union has raised this technique to 


a high level. Thus, for instance, the U.S.S.R. has 
twenty-two broadcasting stations with a power of 
10 kw., five stations with 100 kw., and one station 
with 500 kw. These stations have been built com- 
pletely from Soviet materials. It should especially 
be noted that the most powerful radio station in 
the world, with a capacity of 500 kw., was built 
earlier in the U.S.S.R. than the similar one in the 

In regard to the power of its broadcasting stations 
the Soviet Union occupies the second place in the 
world, after the U.S.A. The number of broadcasting 
stations increased from 23 in 1928 to 62 in 1933 ; 
their power from 127 kw. to 15552 kw. 3 i.e. twelve 

This has made it possible to solve in the main the 
problem of a unified broadcast for the whole Soviet 
Union from the large centres of the U.S.S.R., and 
providing the national republics and autonomous 
regions with broadcasts in their national languages. 

The number of receivers has increased very 
rapidly, having reached 2-1 million in 1932 as against 
348 thousand in 1928. A great number of repair 
shops and charging stations have been organised 
and radio consultations instituted. The achievements 
of radio technique have become available for the 
working masses in town and country. Great work 
has been done for the development and reconstruc- 
tion of communications in railway, water and air 
transport. Thus, for instance, all regional offices of 



railway directors have telegraphic and the majority 
even a telephone connection with the People's Com- 
missariat for Communications. 

For the first time the automatic block system has 
been introduced on many thousands of kilometres of 
railway. Great use has been made of the semi- 
automatic block system, flag signalling, and electric 
and mechanical central control points. 

Before the Revolution the universal means for 
signalling and communication was the imported 
Morse apparatus ; now the main means is the tele- 
phone. For the first time in the U.S.S.R. a number 
of main water routes, e.g. the Volga and the Dnieper, 
have been equipped with means of communication 
during the first five-year plan, by means of which a 
unified command of the river fleet has been insti- 

Finally, air transport is being equipped with the 
necessary electrical communication. 

Tsarist Russia was completely dependent on 
foreign firms for technique and equipment. At 
present the U.S.S.R. produces its own apparatus 
and equipment for all kinds of communication 
radio, telephone, telegraph, post and signalling. The 
total output of the electro-mechanical low-tension 
industry increased from 37 million rubles in 1927-28 
to 31 1 million rubles in 1932. The five-year plan for 
this branch of industry was completed in three and a 
quarter years. During the first five-year period the 
technique of many new devices was mastered. 


These include automatic telephone stations, of low 
and high capacity, powerful long- and short-wave 
broadcasting stations, apparatus for multiple calling 
with applied frequencies to tonal, supertonal and 
subtonal telegraphs, a rapid-calling telegraph appar- 
atus, production of main cables, etc. Considerable 
research work has been organised, as has also the 
training of staffs for communications. 

Until the first five-year plan there was only one 
technical school for communications. During the 
first five-year plan the People's Commissariat for 
Communications opened an academy, four higher 
technical schools, and twenty-one technical schools. 
The total number of students in these schools was 
13,800, i ,600 in the academy, 5,000 in higher 
technical schools and 7,200 in technical schools. In 
Tsarist Russia there was only one electro-technical 
institute which, during the twenty-three years of its 
existence, produced 449 specialists, including several 
dozen low-tension specialists. 

The work accomplished in the field of communica- 
tions during the first five-year plan is far from being 
the limit of what is required by the development of 
the economy and the rise in the cultural level of the 
U.S.S.R. In the second five-year plan further work 
for the development of communications has been 
projected. The XVIIth Congress of the Party 
pointed out the necessity of a large extension of all 
kinds of communications, especially radio, and of a 
radical improvement in the quality of the work. 



In fulfilment of this policy the interchange of com- 
munications is to be increased from 9,800 million 
working units in 1932, to 20,500 million in 1937, 
this being seven times higher than the pre-war level 
and twice as high as in 1932. 

The enormous requirements of communication, 
both in quantity and quality, can only be satisfied 
by a further technical reconstruction of all kinds 
of communications based on the achievements of 
world science and technique. The total amount of 
capital investments in communications under the 
second five-year plan is 1,700 million rubles (exclu- 
sive of radio) compared with the 510 million rubles 
of the first five-year plan. The second five-year plan 
considers the following problems as the main ones 
in the field of technical reconstruction. 

First, the cabling of the main lines Moscow- 
Kharkov-Donbas, and Moscow-Minsk, the equip- 
ment of brass and bimetallic lines with devices for 
multiple calling, which will permit of having ten 
mutual connections on the same line simultaneously, 
the use of standard rapid-motion apparatus with a 
typewriter key on cables and radio lines, the use of 
photographic transmission increasing the material 
transmitted to a whole newspaper column. 

Secondly, the creation of powerful radio and tele- 
graph and telephone lines supplemented by big 
broadcasting points in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Sverd- 
lovsk, Khabarovsk, Alma-Ata, Tashkent, Leningrad, 
Archangel and other cities, with mechanised rapid 



action transmitters and receivers, which will provide 
a quick connection with the most distant points of 
the Soviet Union. These lines will transmit not only 
signals and voice, but are being equipped with 
devices to transmit pictures, documents, signatures, 
facsimiles, etc. 

Thirdly, a reorganisation of the existing system of 
communications (in which all regional and district 
centres and capitals of republics have a direct 
connection with Moscow only) into an inter-regional 
system, by organising about twelve powerful trans- 
mitting stations and establishing a direct telegraph 
and telephone connection between the larger 
capitals of republics and district and regional 
centres. The completion of this work will occupy 
part of the third five-year plan. 

This will make it possible to do away with a 
large amount of relaying, and to direct the principal 
flow of communications into direct channels and 
combine all technical means of communications into 
one powerful complex in which radio, telegraph 
and telephone, each performing its own functions, 
will complement each other. 

At the beginning of the second five-year plan, a 
number of regional and district centres (Khabarovsk, 
Irkutsk, Alma-Ata, Tashkent) had no telephone 
communication with Moscow, and 43 per cent of the 
district centres had no telephone communication 
with the regional centres. 

The project of the five-year plan is to establish 



direct telephone communication not only with 
capitals of republics and district and regional 
centres, but also with all the biggest enterprises of the 
Soviet Union. By the end of the second five-year 
plan all regional centres will have a two-way tele- 
phone communication with their district centres. 
All village Soviets will have telephone communica- 
tion with their regional centres, instead of 38*8 per 
cent at the beginning of the plan. Forty per cent of 
machine-tractor stations and Soviet farms will be 
equipped with internal telephone communication 
by the end of the second five-year plan. On the 
largest ones 5,500 ultra-short-wave transmitters for 
connection with brigades working in the fields will 
be established. 

In addition to the introduction of a more perfect 
postal system in town and village, the five-year plan 
proposes an extended programme for the mechanisa- 
tion of the postal services and the complete establish- 
ment of a regular postal service in distant parts of 
the Soviet Union. 

During the second five-year plan, communica- 
tions will be greatly developed in industry and trans- 
port. In particular the proposal of the plan is to 
establish on existing railway lines and to organise on 
new lines the following kinds of communication : 
despatching, station, point, station despatcher, line, 
local- and main-line communication. The length of 
road equipped with the automatic block system 
will be increased from 582 km. in 1932 to 8,882 in 



1937, and semi-automatic blocks from 13,400 km. to 
20,000 km. The measures projected by the second 
five-year plan in the field of communications will 
beyond doubt be accomplished. The Soviet Union 
will have technically advanced and efficiently 
working communications. 

As a result of all this the transport and communica- 
tions systems of the Soviet Union have been raised 
high above the level of Tsarist Russia. The rather 
weak inter-regional transit relations have been 
considerably strengthened during the existence of the 
Soviet Republics, especially during the first five- 
year plan, and thus transport and communications 
have become powerful enough not only to provide 
for foreign trade (as they did under Tsarism) but, 
and this is especially important, for the internal 
needs of the country. 

The most distant and neglected regions have now 
been connected by a unified Soviet transport system 
with all other regions, and on the basis of this inter- 
connection will be able to develop their productive 
forces at a tremendous pace. 

An especially important part in the strengthening 
of the inter-regional relations of the Soviet Union 
has been played by the development of the maritime 
routes in the Arctic, the Baltic- White Sea Canal, the 
Turksib Railway, the reconstruction of main lines 
in the European and Asiatic parts of the U.S.S.R. 
and the mastery of the age-old rapids of the Dnieper. 

These new achievements deserve more detailed 



consideration, which will show their part in the 
unified transport system of the U.S.S.R. as well as 
their influence on the economy of adjoining districts. 
This detailed consideration is given in the following 

G Vol. xe 97 


THE COAST LINE of the U.S.S.R. bordering on 
the northern seas and the Arctic Ocean extends over 
29,000 kilometres. Here are the estuaries of large 
rivers such as the Pechora, Obi, Yenisei, Lena and 
Kolyma, which pass through territories rich in 
timber, mineral ores, furs and other natural re- 

The Tsarist Government showed very little inter- 
est in the economic development of the different 
nationalities inhabiting this vast expanse of land. 
No measures were taken to promote the establish- 
ment of means of communication. 

On the other hand this part of Russia excited 
considerable interest among merchants of other 
countries, who not only explored the Arctic Ocean, 
but attempted to establish commercial shipping 
routes to the mouths of the Obi, the Yenisei and 
other rivers communicating with the Kara Sea. 
They brought sugar, tea, candles, groceries, haber- 
dashery, drapery and other goods, and exported to 
European markets timber, furs, hides, hemp, etc. 



The Tsarist Government, fearing the influence of 
foreigners on their northern-sea frontier, did every- 
thing to prevent the development of foreign traffic 
with the Siberian tribes. At one time it was even 
absolutely prohibited, and a blockade was estab- 
lished at various strategic points on commercial 
shipping routes. 

The economic relations of the northern tribes, 
who were deprived of any communication with other 
more developed districts of Russia, were therefore of 
a primitive patriarchal character at the time of the 

The Soviet Government set itself the task of 
overcoming this backwardness by developing new 
means of communication, by establishing regular 
transport connections with the industrial and 
agricultural regions of the U.S.S.R., and by develop- 
ing the productive forces of the north, promoting 
the industrialisation of this district and the cultural 
development of its population. 


Attempts were made to use, first, the shipping 
routes from Murmansk and Archangel to the east, 
to the mouths of the rivers Pechora, Obi, Yenisei 
and others ; and secondly, shipping routes leading 
from the east to the west, i.e., from Vladivostok, 
through the Behring Straits to the mouths of the 
rivers Kolyma, Indigirka and Lena. This led subse- 
quently to the establishment of regular shipping 



routes from Archangel to Hatanga, Lena and 
further to the east as far as Vladivostok, i.e. the aim 
was to organise a direct northern shipping route 
from west to east and vice versa. 

At the present time there are four shipping routes 
from Archangel to the mouths of the rivers flowing 
into the Kara Sea, i.e. the Obi and Yenisei, which 
are used in accordance with the movement and 
condition of the ice. The first route leads into the 
Kara Sea through the Straits of the Yugorski Shar, 
between the continent and the south shore of the 
island of Vargatch. This is the route most frequently 
used, as the conditions in regard to the movement 
of ice are more favourable here than elsewhere. 
Radio stations have been established on the coast of 
the mainland to watch the movement of the ice 
and supply passing ships with the necessary informa- 

The second route passes to the north of the former, 
and leads into the Kara Sea by the straits " Karskie 
Vorota " (the gates of Kara). These straits lie 
between the northern part of the island of Vargatch 
and the southern part ol the island of Nova Zembla. 
At the present time radio stations have also been 
established on these straits. 

The third route passes through the narrow straits 
of Matochkin Shar between the high rocky coasts 
of the two halves of the island of Nova Zembla. 
This is the shortest of the four shipping routes from 
Siberia to Europe for the export of Soviet goods. 



This route has also a radio station situated at the 
outlet into the Kara Sea, which keeps ships informed 
of the condition of the ice. 

Lastly, the fourth route passes through the open 
sea to the north of the island of Nova Zembla, round 
Cape Shelania. This is used when the southern 
straits are blocked with ice. Here also a radio station 
has been established at the northern extremity of 
Nova Zembla. 

Regular communication along these routes is 
effected with the assistance of a strong fleet of ice- 
breakers, some of which have become famous for 
their voyages across the Arctic Ocean, such as the 
Krassin^ Malygin, Lenin^ Litke, Makarov, Sedov and 

In 1932 the ice-breaker Sadko, which had been 
sunk before the Revolution, was raised from the 
bottom of the sea, and after repairs had been carried 
out it was added to the fleet of ice-breakers. The ice- 
breakers are assisted in their work by numerous 

As a result of the measures taken, the cargoes 
carried through the Kara Sea have greatly increased, 
and a great many more ships now call at the mouths 
of the Obi and Yenisei. 




Tears Number of ships Tearly average of ships 
1880-1889 7 0-8 

1890-1899 27 3 

1900-1909 8 0'9 

1910-1919 37 4 

1920-1929 87 9-9 

iQSo-^QSi 6? 33 

1932 30 30 


(in tons) 




























Simultaneously with the organisation of the 
western section of the northern sea route, much 
work was being done towards the organisation of the 
eastern section, through the establishment of a 
system of navigation from Vladivostok through the 
Behring Straits to the mouths of the rivers Kolyma, 
Indigirka and Lena. 



In 1 91 1 two ships called for the first time at the 
mouth of the river Kolyma : the Russian steamer 
Kolyma and a small American schooner the Kittiwake. 
In 1912 this trip was made by the steamer Kotik 
instead of the Kolyma. During the following years of 
the Tsarist Government only one steamer made this 
voyage each year, which naturally had no great 
influence on the economic development of the 
district. After the Far East had been freed in 1923 
from the Japanese occupation, the voyages to the 
mouth of the river Kolyma were resumed by Soviet 
ships, and the amount of cargo transported showed 
a constant and systematic growth, as can be seen 
from the following figures : 


1923 355 

1926 658 

1928 824 

1931 2,000 

1932 10,000 

In 1931 the first radio station was established on 
Cape Severny by the ship Lieutenant Schmidt, and 
this has proved to be of great importance for the 
navigation of the Arctic Ocean. 

In 1931 the steamer Lenin was transferred from 
the river Lena to the Kolyma, which was the be- 
ginning of the development of navigation on that 



The considerable increase in the weight of cargoes 
transported in 1931 and 1932 was a proof of the 
possibility of establishing a regular system of naviga- 
tion between Vladivostok and the mouths of the 
rivers in the Yakutsk district without any serious 
risks or wintering in the ice. 

In spite of the fact that the ice here is thicker than 
in the Kara Sea, these voyages are less dangerous 
than in the western part of the Arctic Ocean, because 
the ships pass along the coast through a strip of 
open water with one year old broken ice, which is 
formed as early as the month of July. 

Thus the navigation of the Arctic Ocean was 
started from both ends, from the west and from the 
east. Every year the ships penetrated further in both 
directions, fighting for every kilometre of new pas- 
sage through the ice, and at last it became evident 
that a direct sea route from the west to the east, from 
Archangel and Murmansk to Vladivostok, could be 


In 1932 the Government, wishing to investigate 
the possibility of using this route, sent an expedition 
on the ice-breaker Sibiriakov. 

The expedition was to complete the voyage from 
Archangel to Vladivostok in one summer. This was 
successfully performed by the ice-breaker, under the 
guidance of experienced sailors. But great difficulties 
had to be overcome ; it was necessary to fight for 



each kilometre of the voyage ; and the ship was 
heavily damaged. 

The voyage from Archangel to Vladivostok was 
accomplished, in 65 days, for the first time in history, 
furnishing practical proof of the possibility of using 
this direct route. This Arctic voyage of the Sibiriakov 
was of great scientific and economic importance, 

In 1933 this experiment was repeated by the 
steamer Cheliushkin, which left Murmansk for the East 
in August 1933. Compared with the voyage of the 
Sibiriakov there was the difference that this long 
Arctic voyage was now attempted not by an ice- 
breaker, but by a steamer adapted for navigation in 
Arctic regions. The Cheliushkin was a cargo steamer 
of reinforced construction for navigation through 
ice. It was built entirely of steel in the yards of 
Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen, in 1933. The 
principal dimensions were : length 94-55 metres, 
width 1 6 -6 1 m., draught 7-74 m., cargo capacity 
2,088 tons. 

The Cheliushkin received instructions to take relief 
to the men who had been wintering on Wrangel 
Island to make scientific investigations with regard 
to navigation conditions in Arctic seas ; the voyage 
from Murmansk to Vladivostok was, as before, to 
be completed in one summer. 

Throughout the whole voyage there was a terrible 
struggle with the ice. After having forced a passage 
through the ice of the Kara Sea, the Cheliushkin 
passed one of the most inaccessible points of the 



north Cape Cheliushkin. Here it met ten Soviet 
steamers which were engaged on other work. The 
leader of the Cheliushkin expedition, O. J. Schmidt, 
was right in calling this a unique parade, as from the 
discovery of this cape in the eighteenth century up 
to the year 1932 this coast had been visited by only 
nine ships, and now in the autumn of 1933 as many 
as eleven ships had met here at the same time. 
On the 4th of September the Cheliushkin passed 
through the Laptev Sea in a heavy storm, and twenty- 
four hours later it passed the Novosibirsk Islands, 
penetrating further and further to the east. 

On the 1 4th of September radio operators and 
food supplies were sent from the Cheliushkin to 
Wrangel Island by an aeroplane that had joined the 
Cheliushkin from Cape Severny. This aeroplane 
brought some of the scientific staff from the island 
back to the steamer. 

On the i gth of September, fighting its way through 
the ice, the steamer reached the island of Koluchino, 
which is only 280 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. 
The considerable distance from Murmansk had been 
covered in forty days. There was such an accumula- 
tion of ice at this island that the Cheliushkin could 
not get out of the ice-fields until October 5. Two 
days later the Cheliushkin passed the island of Idilia 
and was making its way to Cape Serdtze-Kamen, 
from which the distance to the Behring Straits is 
only 80 kilometres. At this point, owing to an un- 
expected movement of the ice, the Cheliushkin was 

1 06 


driven towards the shore and, caught in an ice-field, 
it moved slowly towards the Behring Straits, which 
it reached at the beginning of November. 

There was a moment when there were only two 
to three miles left to the open sea. However, owing 
to a sudden and violent storm coming from the 
direction of Japan, the waters of the Pacific Ocean 
were forced into the narrow Behring Straits and a 
strong current carried the Cheliushkin, together with 
the ice-field, back again to the north. On the I3th of 
February the steamer reached the fatal point where 
the pressure of the ice caused the loss of the ship. 

The whole expedition, numbering 101 persons 
and including ten women and two children, was 
transferred to the ice. Under the guidance of so 
experienced an Arctic explorer as O. J. Schmidt, 
this was accomplished in perfect order, and it was 
possible to save a supply of fuel, warm clothes, food, 
building material, an S O S radio apparatus and the 
aeroplane of the aviator Babushkin. 

Rescue work was urgently organised by the Soviet 
Government, and in a short time the best Arctic 
aviators and Soviet aeroplanes and airships, the 
steamers Smolensk and Stalingrad, as well as the ice- 
breaker Krassin, were sent to Vankarem. 

After a great many difficulties the rescue opera- 
tions, which lasted two months, were brought to a 
successful conclusion without the loss of a single life. 
All the members of the Cheliushkin expedition were 
rescued. Great courage was shown and heroic deeds 



were performed by the Soviet aviators, particularly 
Molokov, Kamanin, Liapidevsky, Levanevsky, Doro- 
nin, Vodopianov and Slepnev. 

Though the Cheliushkin was lost, the expedition 
yielded very important results, not to speak of the 
fact that it has been proved for the second time that 
the establishment of a regular shipping route across 
the Arctic Ocean is quite possible. This was almost 
accomplished by the Cheliushkin, which at one time 
was within two to three miles of the open sea. 

The loss of the Cheliushkin will not have any 
influence on the continuation of the struggle against 
the ice of the north. On the contrary, the Cheliushkin 
expedition has strengthened the determination of 
the working masses to conquer the Arctic passage, 
and the experience obtained from this expedition 
will help them in the achievement of this aim. 

In the course of the year 1934 new expeditions 
were sent out to establish fifteen new Polar stations 
at the points which are most difficult for navigation. 
New stations will be opened in Providence Bay, on 
Cape Serdtze-Kamen, on the island Koluchino, at 
Cape Vankarem, four stations in the Laptev Sea 
and two stations in the least accessible north- 
eastern parts of the Kara Sea at Cape Olovianny 
and the island Russkich. Previous to the Revolution 
there were only four Polar stations in the Arctic 
Ocean, while in 1933 their number reached twenty- 
one, and in 1934 thirty-six stations with a staff of 450 

1 08 


The experience of the Cheliushkin has demonstrated 
the importance of aviation in the conquest of the 
north. This has led to the decision to create new 
aviation bases that will function all the year round 
in Franz Joseph Land, in the Kara Sea, on Cape 
Cheliushkin, in the Laptev Sea, at Tiksy, on Cape 
Severny and in Wellen. 

According to the second five-year plan more than 
200 million rubles have been assigned for the 
building of ice-breakers, the establishment of new 
Polar stations, the development of new aviation bases 
in the Arctic, and scientific work on the thorough 
exploration of the Arctic seas. 

The work of establishing a direct northern shipping 
route is closely connected with the development of 
river transport on the main rivers of Siberia, the 
Obi, Yenisei, Lena, Indigirka, Igarka and Hatanga, 
by means of increasing the river fleet and improving 
the conditions of navigation. 

All this will promote the development of the 
productive forces of the regions connected with the 
new shipping route. It will help in the creation of 
industrial concerns working on the basis of the 
natural resources of the region, producing coal, 
non-ferrous metals, timber and tinned food, as well 
as furs, all of which could be exported by the 
northern shipping route. 

The development of the northern shipping route 
in the course of the second five-year period will be 
one of the principal factors in the rapid development 



of the far north and the improvement of the econ- 
omic conditions of the various national repub- 
lics and remote districts (the Yakutsk, Ostiako- 
Vogulsky, Yamalsky, Taimyrsky, Evenkisky and 
Chukotsky national districts), thus putting an end 
to their economic and cultural backwardness. 



r OR MORE THAN A CENTURY the Tsarist Gov- 
ernment was discussing plans to join the Baltic Sea 
and the White Sea. In Old Russia all these projects 
existed only on paper, and only the New Russia 
succeeded in carrying out this vast enterprise, which 
is of such vital economic importance for that part of 
the country. 

On the 2nd of August, 1933, the Council of 
People's Commissaries issued a decree taking over 
the Baltic-White Sea water route for exploitation 
under the name of the " Baltic- White Sea Stalin 
Canal, 35 and to declare it open for navigation for 
vessels of the lake and sea-going type. 


The idea of joining these two seas has its own 
history. As far back as 1798, Bakin, a merchant from 
Pudosk, advanced the project of constructing a canal 
by joining the river and lake of Onega with the lake 
of Vodlozers. He laid great stress on the larch forests 
surrounding Lake Vodlozers, the export of which 



would bring large profits to the Government. 
Bakin himself was attracted by the great profit he 
expected to make on the construction of the canal. 
At the same time a second project was presented by 
three merchants from Petrozavodsk and the director 
of the Olonetz works, the Englishman Adam Arm- 
strong. They proposed a new plan to connect the 
two seas by joining Lake Onega with the White 
Sea through the Povenetz at Soroka. 

Taking into account the strategic importance of 
the project, the Tsarist Government deigned to pay 
some attention to the proposals, and delegated its 
best specialist, General de Volant, the constructor of 
the Mariinsky Canal system, to make the necessary 
investigations. It must be mentioned that the 
Mariinsky system had been so badly built that its 
reconstruction at the present time will require more 
work and expense than would be necessary for the 
construction of a new system. 

General de Volant, after taking a superficial 
survey of the territory on which the Petrozavodsk 
project was planned, was frightened by the con- 
siderable number of rocks and waterfalls, and gave 
the following report on the project : " The sum re- 
quired for the realisation of this project is out of all 
proportion to the profit that may be expected from 
any such means of communication.' 5 

This was the end of the project presented by the 
merchants of Petrozavodsk. But the idea of connect- 
ing the two seas remained. The Russian and Karelian 



merchants were fully aware of the necessity of inten- 
sifying the exploitation of the forests and of creating 
ways and means to transport the highly prized 
Karelian timber to the White Sea for export, and 
they understood that the construction of a canal 
would be profitable for themselves. Consequently 
new projects were presented to the Government 
every year on the part of merchant owners of fisheries 
and industrial concerns. However, owing to the 
inertness of the Government circles and conflicts 
between the various groups which had the ear of 
high officials, no serious attention was paid to these 
projects and the problem of the canal remained 

The enormous wealth of Karelia was almost 
untouched. The exploitation of Karelian timber 
pine, fir, and birch, well known on foreign markets 
was carried out on a very small scale and in a 
primitive way. Rich deposits of apatite were not 
exploited at all and were hardly known at that time. 
The enormous power of the waterfalls remained 
unused for thousands of years. Karelia was rich in 
minerals : iron, copper and gold were found in Lake 
Vyg. Karelian granite was excellent building mate- 
rial. There was an abundance of fish in the rivers 
and lakes. There were many possibilities of develop- 
ing industry and agriculture but none were 
attempted in Tsarist Russia. 

H Volio. 113 



The attitude of the Soviet Government towards 
this project was very different from that of the 
Tsarist Government. The construction of the canal 
was decided on ; work was begun in 1932 under the 
administration of the O.G.P.U. (the State Political 
Administration) , and in 1933 the canal was com- 
pleted and handed over for use. 

This canal, extending over 227 kilometres, was 
completed in the course of 21 months, an unpre- 
cedentedly short time, during which 19 locks, 
15 dams, 12 sluice-gates, 49 dikes and 33 artificial 
canals were built. The earth-work done measured 
21 million cubic metres, the concrete work 390,000 
cu. m., and the laying of logs 921,000 cu. m. All 
this work had to be performed under exceptionally 
difficult geological and hydrological conditions. 

In the building of the Baltic- White Sea Canal new 
principles of construction were adopted which 
revolutionised the practice of hydraulic engineering. 
In order to promote the greatest possible use of local 
building material Karelian timber and stone 
directions were given to reduce the use of iron and 
concrete to the minimum. Concrete was replaced by 
wood even in such important constructions as dams. 
Engineer K. M. Zubrik designed a new wooden 
dam of most original construction, in which slop- 
ing logs withstand great pressure. This type of 



construction was used for the extremely important 
dam, the Shavansky. 

Engineer K. A. Vershbitzky designed a type of 
wooden wall for locks of twelve metres in height, 
which has been adopted almost throughout the whole 
extent of the canal. 

Metal sluice-gates were formerly always used where 
the water pressure was as high as it is in the White 
Sea Canal. Here it was proved by experiments that 
even in the building of such an important item as 
sluice-gates it was possible to use wood, and the 
majority of sluice-gates were thus constructed. 

During the construction of the canal it was found 
that the soil often consisted of sand and water 
intermingled with boulders, which did not allow 
the use of the piles usually adopted in making 
foundations. The engineers were forced to design 
new methods for the construction of foundations for 
the bottom and walls of the sluices, placing them 
directly in the ground. 

Accordingly a lighter type of bottom was used, 
with safety plugs which reduced the water pressure. 
In the laboratory of Professor Lebedev, a waterproof 
screen was designed consisting of layers of local 
material peat and sand, the use of which made it 
possible to build dams, dikes, etc., with the soil of 
Karelia, so little adaptable for constructions of this 
kind. Thirteen out of nineteen locks were built on 
rock. Concrete is usually used on this kind of soil, 
but the adoption of wooden chambers of new 



design made it possible to fix the wooden construc- 
tion to the foundation. 

The above are only a few instances of the wealth 
of new ideas realised in the construction of the canal, 
but they are evidence of the revolution that has 
been introduced in hydro-technical engineering. 

All these novel forms of construction stood the 
test with great success when they were put into 

Very great difficulties were experienced by the 
builders in removing rocks. Four and a half million 
explosions were required to blow up and remove 
2 -5 million cubic metres of rock. 

The construction progressed at quite an excep- 
tional pace. For instance, the enormous Dubrovsky 
dike, 3-5 kilometres long, which absorbed 450,000 
cu. m. of soil, was erected in the course of three 
months. There were days when the earth-work 
performed reached 130,000 cu. m. Thirteen thousand 
cubic metres of soil were taken out, and 8,000 cu. m. 
of logs laid in one day. Owing to this rate of con- 
struction the canal, 227 kilometres in length, was 
completed in one year and nine months, while the 
building of the Panama Canal of a length of 81 -3 km., 
and that of the Suez Canal of a length of 164 km., 
took a number of years. 

The methods adopted in the construction work 
were also quite original. It was organised and 
carried out by the O.G.P.U., and the labour was 
performed by convicts, thieves, murderers, bandits, 



wreckers, prostitutes, and counter-revolutionaries. 
It was a grand experiment in re-educating people 
who had strayed from the straight path. This 
experiment proved that labour useful to the com- 
munity and intelligently performed for a high aim 
has a much greater influence on the psychology of 
men than any punishment. 

As a result of this education by labour 20,000 
men obtained a higher qualification ; former pick- 
pockets, thieves, bandits, murderers, and prostitutes 
were turned into motor drivers, masons, concrete 
workers, navvies, woodcutters, carpenters, techni- 
cians, mechanics, and staff workers fit for service on 
the fleet of the Baltic-White Sea Canal as captains, 
pilots, mechanics, and sailors. 

The return to a life of labour of these criminal 
elements which had been left over from Tsarist 
Russia was effected on the basis of emulation and 
shock work, which progressed together with the 
development of the work. The civil consciousness 
and cultural level of these people rose simultaneously 
with their qualifications. After the completion of the 
canal many of them, who had renounced their past 
and devoted themselves to a life of labour, were 
pardoned ; 12,484 persons had been completely 
reformed and had become useful members of the 
Socialist constructive society. Terms of punishment 
were greatly reduced for 59,516 people who had 
proved by their energetic work that they had 
returned to a life of labour. 



The Order of Lenin, of the Red Star and of the 
Banner of Labour were awarded to a number of 
engineers, former wreckers who had since played a 
prominent part in the construction of the canal. 

At the last meeting of the workers of the Baltic- 
White Sea Canal on August 24, 1933, many of those 
who had formerly been socially dangerous elements 
spoke of the great change which they had undergone 
while working on the canal, and of the wide pros- 
pects opening before them on their release. Here is a 
statement of the thief Ovchennikov, who had been 
convicted three times and had since been working on 
the canal as a mechanic, with the prospect of be- 
coming a fully qualified engineer : 

" In spite of anything that may be said to me, I 
know that the G.P.U. not only punishes but saves 
people. At the present time there are scores of men 
in our labour commune, who will, in a year's time, 
become engineers. Former thieves will become 
managers of industrial concerns." 

Another former thief, Orlok, speaking of his shock 
work, said : 

" We went up to our boss and said to him, 
' Comrade, you may call up the guard or not, as you 
like, but we will go down to the bottom of the canal 
to-day and will not leave work before everything is 
cleaned up. 5 We did go down and worked until I put 
up a poster, requesting people to wipe their feet 
before entering the canal in order not to spoil the 
red mark. I wrote that poster myself. We sometimes 



spent 57 hours at the bottom of the canal and our 
instructors were with us working at the rocks 
together with us, and leaving only when their work 
was completed. Everyone forgot what he was, we are 
all members of one family." 

Such was the educational influence of the work* 
We have mentioned this here because it is impossible 
to describe the construction of the canal without 
referring to the results achieved in the mass reform- 
ation of the convicts who built it. Such facts have 
hitherto been unknown in history. 

Returning to our subject, it must be observed that 
the canal is of great importance for the transport of 
the U.S.S.R. Previous to its construction it took 
steamers seventeen days to sail the 4,000 miles from 
Archangel to Leningrad. They sailed along the Gulf 
Stream, then turning to the south crossed the route 
of foreign vessels in the Atlantic. And now after 
cutting through 227 kilometres of rocks and swamps 
a direct route from one sea to the other has been 
opened on the territory of the Soviet Union. The 
canal will have enormous influence on the economic 
development of Karelia. Immense quantities of 
timber from the mouths of the rivers Onega and 
Megan, Karelian granite, apatite, coal from the 
Pechora, oil from the Uhtinsky district, fish and 
other goods will be carried to the south to the places 
of consumption. Even in the year 1934 the amount of 
goods shipped by the canal reached i ,300,000 tons. 

However, this is not the full extent of the important 



part played by the canaL Firstly, it is the head sec- 
tion of the great northern sea route : Leningrad- 
Povenetz-Soroka-the Kara Sea-Cape Cheliushkin- 
the Behring Straits- Vladivostok. Secondly, in view 
of the proposed reconstruction of the Mariinsky 
Canal system during the second five-year period, it 
will connect the White Sea with the Volga and the 
Caspian Sea. Thirdly, a direct water route is being 
made from Moscow to the White Sea by means of 
the Volga-Moskva Canal now under construction. 
Fourthly, by means of the Volga-Don Canal a direct 
water route will be obtained connecting the Baltic, 
the White and Caspian Seas with the Sea of Azov 
and the Black Sea. The prospect in view is the crea- 
tion of a unified system of water routes for the 
U.S.S.R., the realisation of which is steadily pro- 
gressing. By the construction of the Baltic- White Sea 
Canal the inter-regional transport connections be- 
tween Karelia and northern Europe have been 
considerably extended and show every sign of further 
growth. The question of increasing the capacity of 
the Murmansk railway has already been discussed, 
and a thorough reconstruction of this line is contem- 

The inter-regional transport connections of the 
northern districts have also been improved. For- 
merly the entire transport was effected over the 
Archangel railway. At the present time it can avail 
itself of the Baltic-White Sea Canal ; and the big 
river basins of Onega, Mezen, Pechora and others, 



rich in timber and minerals, will be able to ship their 
products to the White Sea and also along the canal 
to the interior of the Soviet Union. The inter- 
regional connections of the north have also been 
greatly improved by increasing the transport cap- 
acity of the Archangel railway, by building the 
railway between Bui and Danilov, a distance of 92 
kilometres, and also by the line Gorki-Kotelnich, 
with a bridge across the Volga at the town of Gorki. 

The goods transport turnover between the north 
and the other regions of the U.S.S.R. had already in 
1932 reached 1,600,000 tons, five times more than in 

Such is the important part played by the Baltic- 
White Sea Canal, the greater part of which was 
built in the first five-year period. 




IN THE SOUTH OF RUSSIA special attention 
must be paid to the development of transport from 
the chief coal and metal base located in the Ukraine, 
the Donbas, which, besides supplying coal to the 
entire industry of the south, sends large quantities 
to the Moscow and Leningrad districts. 

The coalfields of the Donbas were known in the 
eighteenth century, evidence of which is furnished 
by the decrees issued by Peter the First. However, 
the exploitation of these coalfields on a large scale 
was begun only in the middle of the second half of 
the nineteenth century, foreign capital having 
turned its attention to the wealth of southern 

In 1914 coal production in the Donbas reached 
its maximum figure, 27-5 million tons. This was 
achieved by Tsarist Russia after a great number of 
years with the active assistance of foreign capital. 

The discovery of rich iron-ore deposits in Krivoi 
Rog was the beginning of the development of a 



metallurgical industry in the south of Russia, New 
works were opened one after the other, and in the 
year 1899 there existed eighteen blast furnaces and 
four works with an output of 1,355,000 tons of pig 
iron per annum. This was the period of the greatest 
development of foreign capital assisted by protective 
duties and Government orders. The natural re- 
sources of southern Russia, the existence of iron-ore 
deposits in close proximity to the coalfields, as well as 
the protective policy of autocratic Russia, attracted 
foreign capital, which owned nineteen of the 
existing twenty-four concerns. 

Nevertheless it took the Tsarist Government a long 
time before the production of pig iron reached 
3,110,000 tons in 1913, although the exploitation of 
the natural resources was carried out by methods of 

During the imperialist war the output of coal and 
minerals decreased considerably, seventeen out of 
sixty-five blast furnaces being shut down. This was 
chiefly caused by the deficiencies of transport, which 
became strikingly evident during the war. The coal 
and metallurgical industries of the south suffered 
greatly under the occupation of the Ukraine by 
German troops and the rule of the White Guards. 
The production of coal decreased to 4-5 million tons, 
and the smelting of pig iron to the trivial figure of 
29,500 tons in 1920. This sad inheritance of the 
Tsarist period was not only remedied, but the whole 
industry was largely reconstructed and developed 



by the Soviet Government. In 1932 the coal output 
of the Donbas already exceeded that of 1913 by 
73 -8 per cent, having reached 43,940,000 tons. The 
smelting of pig iron in 1932 exceeded the pre-war 
output, and amounted to 4,220,000 tons. 

The reconstruction of the coal and metallurgical 
industries resulted in the building of new works, 
such as the Dnieprostroi works, the Kharkov tractor 
works, the Lugansk locomotive works, the Kharkov 
turbine works, the Saparozhstal and Azovstal steel 
works, the Tomsky, Voroshilov and Rykov metal- 
lurgical works, the Marty shipbuilding works, the 
Sumy factory for producing chemical equipment, 
the Kramatorsky machine-building works, new 
woodworking mills, and factories for the light 
industries and food industries. 

The great economic development of the Ukraine 
imposed new tasks on the transport system. In 1913 
the freight turnover of the Ukraine railways was 
50 million tons, while in 1932 it reached more than 
90 million tons. The urgent necessity of increasing 
the inter- regional transport connections of the 
Ukraine became evident ; this was particularly the 
case in regard to communications with the Moscow 
and Leningrad districts, with White Russia and the 
Volga district. 

A new railway the Voroshba-Unecha-Orsha 
line was built to increase the transport connections 
between the Donbas and the Leningrad district. 
It is 425 km. in length, and facilitates the transport 



of coal from the Donbas by way of Krasny-Leman- 
Osnova (Kharkov) - Lubotin - Voroshba- Unecha- 
Orsha-Vitebsk-Dno-Leningrad. No such trunk line 
existed previously, as there was no connection 
between Orsha-Unecha and Voroshba. 

The capacity of the old route Krasny-Leman- 
Osnova - Lgov - Navlia - Briansk - Smolensk - Vitebsk 
-Dno- Leningrad has also been greatly increased by 
the building of additional tracks on the line Osnova- 
Lgov-Navlia. In addition a new railway has been 
constructed between Briansk and Viasma, 234 km. 
long, which has made it possible to send wagons of 
coal, metal and grain from the Ukraine to Lenin- 
grad by way of Kharkov, Lgov-Briansk- Viasma 
Rsheff-Lihoslavl-Leningrad, avoiding the Moscow 

Thus, instead of two inconvenient connections 
between the Ukraine and Leningrad there are now 
four routes, each of much greater capacity, which 
means a considerable development of the inter- 
regional connections with Leningrad. 

No less attention has been devoted to the improve- 
ment of inter-regional connections between the 
Ukraine and Moscow, which was formerly effected 
by two trunk lines through Briansk and Orel. The 
first line passing through Briansk was of small 
capacity, and therefore a second track was added 
on the line Osnova-Lgov-Navlia. The line passing 
through Orel and Kursk was also reconstructed and 
its capacity increased. 



Lastly, the railway line passing through Eletz, 
which was of little use, as it had no connection be- 
tween Uzlovaya and Venev, is now being thoroughly 
reconstructed ; the gradients are being reduced, and 
a second track, 1,135 kilometres long, is being added. 
It will be ready for use in 1935, and will connect the 
Donbas with the Moscow district. 

Considerable work has been done in improving 
the connections within the Ukraine, particularly 
between the Krivoi Rog district and the Donbas. 
Here second tracks have been laid on the trunk 
lines and a distributing station has been built at 
Verhovtzevo with twenty-four tracks, at the outlet 
of the Krevorok iron-ore district. 

Owing to the construction of the railway Merefa- 
Konstantinograd -Nishnedneprovsk - Apostolovo - 
Kherson, 520 kilometres long, a new connecting 
line has been established between Kharkov and all 
the industrial and agricultural centres of this region 
on one side and the port of Kherson on the Black 
Sea on the other. This has improved the connection 
between the Ukraine and Transcaucasia, which is 
of great importance for the transport of oil to the 

The capacity of the railway line Likaya-Stalingrad 
has been increased. This facilitates the transport of 
Donbas coal to the Volga for further shipment along 
this river to the industrial centres ; it also provides 
a route for the supply of timber from the north to 
the Donbas. 



A further development of the inter-regional 
connections of the Donbas, the Northern Caucasus 
and the Volga district will become possible when the 
construction of the great Volga-Don Canal, which 
has now been started, is completed. 

Inter-regional connections between the Ukraine 
and the Urals have been improved by adding a 
second track to the railway Kupiansk-Liski-Balashoff 
- Rtishevo - Penza - Syzran - Samara - Ufa - 

In this way the Ukraine has been given transport 
connections of great capacity with the other indus- 
trial and agricultural regions of the country, particu- 
larly with Leningrad and Moscow. 

This survey of the improvement of transport 
would not, however, be complete without men- 
tioning the development of the river routes of the 
Ukraine, and particularly the Dnieper. The solution 
of the problem of the Dnieper is one of the most 
remarkable achievements of the Soviet Union and 
deserves to be handled separately. 



THE SOVIET REPUBLIC has solved the great 
task of creating an uninterrupted waterway along 
the whole of the river Dnieper. This was a task which 
was beyond the power of Tsarist Russia. 

The river Dnieper rises in the western region 
somewhat to the north of Smolensk and, after 
winding for about 2,200 kilometres, enters the Black 
Sea. At its mouth it is connected with the river 
Ujnui Boug by means of the Dnieper-Boug estuary, 
and together with its tributaries forms an immense 
waterway with a net of water routes 27,700 km. in 
length, 6,000 of which are open for big ships and 
1 1,500 for light draught vessels. The main tributaries 
of the Dnieper are the Berezina, 500 km. long, the 
Soga, the Pripet and the Desna. The Dnieper-Boug 
basin occupies one of the first places in the Soviet 
Union for its navigable rivers, second only to that of 
the Volga and of the Obi-Irtysh and almost equal 
to the Northern Dvina and Yenisei basins. 

Until quite recently the Dnieper was divided by 
the rapids between the towns of Dniepropetrovsk 
(formerly Ekaterinoslav) and Saproghie (formerly 



Alexandrovsk) into two independent and isolated 
basins : (i) the Upper and Middle Dnieper, 1,500 
km. long, with the tributaries the Berezina, the Boje, 
the Pripet and the Desna, and (2) the southern part, 
that is, the Lower Dnieper-Boug basin. The latter 
always had a free outlet to the Black Sea, whereas 
the Northern Dnieper was isolated from the southern 
part and from the Black Sea by nine rapids extending 
for 65 km. and precluding navigation, besides 25 
waterfalls having a total drop of 31 metres. 

This is explained by the fact that in this part of 
the river the Dnieper crosses a ridge of rocks which 
branch off from the Carpathians, appearing here on 
the surface. 

As one of the attempts to open the northern part 
of the Dnieper to the sea, we may point to the 
construction, just before the 1914 war, of artificial 
connecting systems in the upper part of 'he Dnieper, 
on the Pripet towards the Visla, on the Yaselda (a 
tributary of the Pripet) towards the Neman and on 
the Berezina towards the Western Dvina through 
its tributary the Ulla. All these three connections 
were intended to give an outlet to the Baltic Sea for 
the northern part of the Dnieper. But these measures 
were far from solving the question of the isolation 
of the Dnieper basin, the more so because the first 
two connections after the imperialist war fell into 
the possession of Poland, and in addition none of 
them were designed for big ships and a large volume 
of traffic. 

I Vol. 10 129 


The Dnieper rapids remained a natural barrier 
for the direct navigation of the Dnieper, prohibiting 
an issue to the Black Sea for the northern part of 
the river. The question of overcoming this natural 
barrier had attracted the attention of Tsarist Russia 
for a long time. Attempts to improve navigating 
conditions by means of erecting engineering devices 
were made at the end of the eighteenth century and 
then repeated in the first half of the nineteenth 
century. Then from 1905 and up to 1917 there 
appeared a number of private and State projects 
that took into consideration the use of water energy 
and the improvement of navigation on the Dnieper. 
But the matter did not go further ; these projects 
and the problem of the Dnieper remained unsolved 
by the technical and engineering resources of Tsarist 

The solving of this problem was undertaken by the 
Soviet Government. A research organisation was 
formed under the direction of the Academician I. G. 
Alesandroff, the author of the project. The main 
difference of Alesandroff 5 s project from the former 
ones was that the entire rapids of the Dnieper were 
dealt with by a single dam, and therefore the whole 
energy of the rapids was consumed by one hydro- 
electric station. This project presented the greatest 
economic advantages, and was the most rational 
from the technical point of view of all the projects 

The plan was approved by the Council of People's 



Commissaries of the U.S.S.R. ("Sovnarkom"), and 
in March 1927 the construction of the Dnieper 
hydro-electric station was begun. On May i, 1932, 
Dnieprostroi produced its first energy. This 
tremendous and complicated technical construction 
was completed in five years. During this time 
1,180,000 cubic metres of concrete were laid, in- 
cluding 820,000 cu. m. used for the dam ; the 
removal of earth was carried out to the total of 
3,400,000 cu. m. ; excavating, 3,200,000 cu. m. ; 
stone-breaking, 1,900,000 cu. m. During the con- 
struction period of 1930 the Dnieprostroi " udar- 
niks " (" shock workers ") developed a hitherto 
unknown rate of construction, leaving far behind all 
world records of concrete laying. During the con- 
struction period of 1930 they laid 518,000 cu. m., 
giving a maximum of 1 10,600 cu. m. per month and 
a maximum of 5,270 cu. m. per day. In five years a 
hydro-electric station of 810,000 h.p. was built, 
with ten turbines ; a dam 62 metres high was 
erected, the length of the fall line being 611 metres. 

Simultaneously with the erection of the dam and 
the Dnieper hydro-electric station the rapids were 
conquered and the Dnieper became navigable along 
its entire length. What Tsarist Russia had been 
dreaming of for a century and a half, the Soviet 
Union accomplished in five years. 

The Dnieper basin occupies an area of 500,000 
square kilometres. It touches the Krivoi Rog iron-ore 
basin, with an iron-ore reserve of 1,140 million tons, 


the Nicopole manganese mines, with an ore reserve 
of 369-5 million tons, a considerable part of the 
Ukrainian reserve of brown coal, peatfields good for 
exploitation, phosphates, forests, developed agri- 
culture and great industrial enterprises, especially 
in the industrial region of Dniepropetrovsk (Dniepro- 
petrovsk, Komenske, Sovorogie, Nicopole, Krivoi 
Rog). The mining and iron ore, manganese, ferrous 
metals and machine-building industries are well 
developed here. The industry of the forests and 
steppes is chiefly represented by light industry 
that is to say, sugar-refining plants and timber mills. 

Other big industrial centres are Kiev (ferrous 
metal industry and machine building), Nicolaev 
(shipbuilding), and the Briansk region (machines for 
transport). Together with the construction of the 
Dnieper electric station, work on the construction of 
the Dnieper Industrial Combine is being carried on. 
The latter will include metallurgical works, electro- 
steel plants, ferro-alloys and aluminium works. 

The rural economy of the Dnieper basin consists 
of agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as 
flowers, vegetables, melons and grapes, which give 
abundant crops in the fields of the State and collec- 
tive farms. The new Dnieper must satisfy the de- 
mands for transport of the agricultural, forest and 
industrial centres situated in its basin. 

The Dnieper will receive large cargoes of oil 
from the south, which will go to the industries 
situated higher up the Dnieper and in the western 



region and White Russia. In return the Dnieper will 
receive timber for the Ukraine. 

Thus the Dnieper will improve the connections 
between the different regions of the Ukraine, White 
Russia and the western regions. The Dnieper 
navigable along its whole length is a striking instance 
of the successful construction of the great works of the 
first five-year plan, and this river will now form a 
basis for the further construction carried on under 
the second five-year plan. 




BEFORE THE REVOLUTION, in spite of the big 
oil centre in Baku, Transcaucasia formed a backward 
agricultural region. Azerbaijan itself, on whose 
territory the oil wells were situated, was " a country 
of the most backward, patriarchal, feudal relations " 
(Stalin). The oil industry was, from a technical 
standpoint, an extremely backward branch of 
industry, the oil beds being exploited in a wasteful 
manner : 94-1 per cent of the oil was obtained by a 
technically backward method of dipping, and only 
i -i per cent by means of deep pumps ; compressors 
were not used at all. 

Under the Soviet Government the oil industry 
was technically reorganised, and the oil output 
increased. In 1932 the oil output amounted to 
21,381,000 tons, which shows an increase of 131-5 
per cent as compared with 1913. The methods of 
extracting oil were radically changed. In 1932 the 
amount of oil obtained by dipping constituted 
6-3 per cent ; 22-3 per cent was obtained by means 



of deep pumps, and 51*3 per cent by compression. 
In 19134-8 per cent of the total output was obtained 
from gushers, and 24-3 per cent in 1932. The 
technical reorganisation of the Transcaucasian oil 
industry resulted in the fulfilment of the first five- 
year plan for the oil industry not in five but in 
two and a half years. 

Simultaneously with the oil industry, other 
branches of industry developed. Thus began the 
industrial exploitation of the Tverkchel and Tkvibul 
coal-mines and the Allaverdua and Zangegur enter- 
prises for non-ferrous metallurgy were brought into 
operation. There was also an increase of manganese 
output in the Chiatoury mines. This growth in the 
exploitation of the natural resources of the country 
was strengthened by the development of our own 
machine building, which was effected by the or- 
ganisation of works producing equipment for oil 
extraction and refining (especially the great Lieu- 
tenant Schmidt works), and by the construction of 
the big Tiflis engineering works and others. 

The food and other light industries of Trans- 
caucasia have also been considerably developed. 
Two big cotton factories were built ; in addition to a 
silk-winding combine in Nikha (which is the largest 
in the world) a whole series of tea and tobacco 
factories, a sugar refinery, a meat combine in 
Armenia, another in Baku and various other enter- 
prises were built and put into operation. 

The rapid industrial growth of Transcaucasia was 



based on its powerful sources of energy consisting 
of big electricity stations, among which the most 
remarkable are the Transcaucasian, Dzorwajet and 
Rion hydro-electric stations. 

There was a development of agriculture, the 
sowing area in Transcaucasia amounting to 
2*585,000 hectares in 1932, 1,095,000 hectares being 
under cereals. But in spite of the considerable 
importance of cereals Transcaucasia specialised in 
subtropical cultures, the soil and climatic condition 
of the country being specially favourable for them. 
Finally an extremely important factor was the 
creation in Transcaucasia of a cotton base, which in 
1932 already covered 250,600 hectares. 

This phenomenal economic growth of the Trans- 
caucasian republics demanded an increase in the 
work of all kinds of transport, especially railroad, 
maritime and oil transport. In the period from 1913 
to 1932 there was an increase from 4 million tons 
to 7-3 million tons in railway transport alone. A 
still greater increase took place in maritime trans- 
port, especially of oil, which was caused by the 
fulfilment of the five-year plan for oil in two and a 
half years. Naturally the increasing cargo turnover 
has greatly strengthened the inter-regional relations 
of Transcaucasia with other parts of the Soviet 
Union, whose industry, tractors, motors, as well as 
everyday consumption needs, were dependent on the 
Transcaucasian and North Caucasian oil. The oil 
is chiefly exported by the maritime transport system 



of the Black and Caspian Seas. The Caspian fleet 
takes oil to middle Asia through Krasnozavodsk, and 
delivers oil to Astrakhan for the European part of the 
Soviet Union, the oil being taken to the north by the 

The maritime transport of the Black Sea takes the 
oil to Leningrad and Vladivostok as well as to the 
Ukraine by way of the Dnieper. In Odessa the oil is 
transferred to the railway for White Russia and the 
western and Leningrad regions. Moreover the Black 
Sea fleet takes Soviet oil abroad. 

The railways play a smaller part in the transport 
of oil directly from the Caucasus. The flow of oil and 
oil products goes from Baku to Batum on the Black 
Sea by the Transcaucasian railway through the 
Suram pass. The transport capacity of this line was 
very small in pre-revolutionary Russia. Recently 
this line has been considerably improved, a second 
line of rails has been laid, automatic blocks have 
been introduced for 167 kilometres in the Adgicabul- 
Elakh and 87 km. in the Akstafa-Navtlug sections. 
The steepest gradient after Tiflis, Stalinsk-Zestafony, 
63 km. long, has been electrified. At present the 
next section, Navtlug-Stalinsk, 120 km. long, is also 
being electrified. Half of the work was already com- 
pleted by the middle of 1934. All these measures, 
especially the electrification of the mountain pass, 
have considerably increased the transport capacity 
of the Transcaucasian railway. 

To supplement the Transcaucasian railway a 



pipe-line, Baku-Batum, 822 km. long, has been con- 
structed ; its capacity is i -6 million tons. The North 
Caucasian railway from Makhach-Kala to Rostov, 
which carries Transcaucasian and North Caucasian 
oil products to the interior of the country through 
Rostov, has also been considerably strengthened. 
Under the five-year plan automatic coupling has 
been installed on the lines Prokhladnaya-Gudermes 
-Grozny and Gudermes-Makhach-Kala. Automatic 
coupling has also been introduced on the Rostov- 
Tikhoretskaya line. Moreover, this line has been 
strengthened by a second track in some sections and 
an increase of the carrying capacity of the trains. 

To relieve the North Caucasian railway, a pipe- 
line 618 km. long has been built from Grozny to 
Tuapse, and another one 486 km. long from Armavir 
to Trudowaya, with a capacity of I -7 million tons. 
This has considerably increased the transport 
facilities of the Caucasus. 

During the second five-year plan the oil industry 
will be developed on an unprecedented scale ; the 
oil output will be increased by 210 per cent as 
compared with 1932. This gives rise to the problem of 
a further increase of the carrying capacity of rail- 
ways and maritime transport. A great part will be 
played by the Black Sea railway which is now nearing 
completion. It will go along the coast of the Black 
Sea from Akhal-Ochemging-Adlcr and further 
through Tuapse to join the main line. In the near 
future a new railway will be built crossing the 



Caucasian mountains ; it will go from Prokhladnaya 
south to Tiflis, thus shortening the route by more 
than a thousand kilometres. 

In this way Transcaucasia is increasing its inter- 
regional connections and at the same time its trans- 
port connections with other parts of the U.S.S.R. 





COMING NOW to the east of the U.S.S.R., we 
must first consider the strengthening of communica- 
tions between the Ural-Kuznetsk Combine and 
other regions, as the Ural-Kuznetsk Combine forms 
the main link of the whole eastern chain. 

This combine is a group of mines and factories 
organised as a single unit ; it is the second most 
important coal and metal base in the U.S.S.R. The 
Urals are rich in iron ore of the highest quality. 
Kuzbas (the Kuznetsk coal basin) is rich in first-rate 
coking coal. The distance between these two points 
is over 2,000 kilometres. The iron ore of the Urals 
must be brought to the Ural iron-works, including 
the giant Magnitogorsk works, and also sent to 
Kuzbas for the Kuzbas metallurgical works. On the 
other hand the coking coal of Kuzbas is used at the 
Kuzbas iron-works and also brought to the Urals for 
their metallurgical works. A big Soviet engineering 
industry will be built up on the basis of the Ural and 



Kuzbas metallurgy. This is the general idea of the 
Ural-Kuzbas combine which has been put forward 
by the Soviet Government. It is quite; evident that 
the solution of this problem imposes most serious 
tasks on transport. 

The problem of creating a second coal and metal 
base has been tackled and solved by the Soviet 
Government. The Tsarist Government did not pay 
any attention to the industrial development of the 
east, and the metallurgy of the Urals, being in an 
undeveloped state under Tsarism, decreased in 
importance every year. 

In 1908 (before the imperialist war) 1,890,000 
tons of pig iron were smelted in the territory of the 
former Russian Empire. Of this quantity 340 tons, 
smelted in a very primitive handicraft manner, were 
the share of Western Siberia. The metallurgy of the 
Urals was for some time under the Tsardom the 
main metal base within the Russian Empire. In 
1908, when Western Siberia produced 340 tons of 
pig iron, the output of the Urals was 426,000 tons. 
At the basis of the " organisation of labour " in the 
Urals, as Lenin showed, lay serfdom, the traces of 
which were more or less felt till the last days of the 
Tsarist regime. This in fact was the cause of the 
decrease of production in the Urals during the 
period of development of capitalism in Russia. 

Before the Revolution wood was the main fuel in 
the east of Russia, not only for the domestic use of 
the population, but for industry and to a considerable 



extent also for transport. Coal occupied a modest 
place about 8 per cent of the fuel consumed. 
Still less can be said about the use of oil or electricity 
in the east before the Revolution. In 1913 the coal 
output in the Urals reached its maximum figure for 
the whole period of coal mining in Tsarist Russia, 
namely i -5 million tons. 

Thus the resources of the Urals were extremely 
weakly developed, and their industry was based on 
antediluvian methods of production, while Western 
Siberia was an agricultural country with a complete 
absence of industry. The November Revolution of 
1917 put an end to the social conditions which for a 
century had prevented the economic development of 
the Urals and Siberia. 

The estimated coal reserves in the Kuzbas area 
amount to more than 450,000 million tons ; above 
1,000 million tons of iron have already been dis- 
covered in the Urals ; there are rich sources of water- 
power, forests, oil wells, and finally considerable 
areas for the development of agriculture. All these 
resources provide a natural basis for the develop- 
ment of industry in the east. 

The share of the eastern regions of the U.S.S.R. in 
the total output of pig iron increased from 19-7 per 
cent in 1913 to 25 per cent in 1932. This increase is 
the result of the bringing into operation of the first 
units of the Magnitogorsk and Kuzbas metallurgical 
works, and the reconstruction of the metallurgy of 
the Urals. The full operation of the works already 



constructed and the completion of the construction 
now in hand in the east will still further increase the 
importance of the east in Soviet metallurgy. 

During the second five-year plan construction of 
new metallurgical works will be completed in the 
east, among them a second Kuznetsk works. 

The same considerable shift to the east has taken 
place in the coal industry, which before the Revolu- 
tion was concentrated exclusively in the Donbas. 
There has been a great increase in the share of the 
east in the total coal output : 

1913 1 1 '7 per cent 

1927-28 19 percent 

1932 25*8 per cent 

The unprecedented development of the metallur- 
gical and coal industries has given rise to a number of 
gigantic engineering works in the eastern territory, 
the most important of which is the Ural-Kuznetsk 
Combine. During the first five-year plan the Sverd- 
lovsk engineering works were built in the east with 
a capacity 100,000 tons of finished products. These 
works are equipped with powerful presses of 3,000, 
6,000 and 10,000 tons, and like the Kramatorsky 
works in the Ukraine, in their capacity and technical 
devices have no rivals in any country in the world. 
With the full operation of the Sverdlovsk and the 
new Kramatorsky works in addition to the complete 
reconstruction of the old mining and metallurgical 
engineering works, by far the greater part of the 


equipment required for the metallurgical and fuel 
industries will now be produced within the Soviet 

A plant for caterpillar tractors has been erected 
in Cheliabinsk, which when completed will pro- 
duce 40,000 tractors a year with a total of two 
million h.p. 

Iron- works in Verkhniy Saldinks and gigantic 
departments for iron production in Kuznetskstroi 
and Magnitostroi have been erected. The Nijni 
Tagyl Wagon-Building Combine of the Ural nickel- 
works, with a capacity of three thousand tons, is 
being completed. The production of copper will be 
increased by the complete reconstruction of the 
Krasno-Ural Combine, the Palshminsky and the 
Central Ural works. The construction of the Siberian 
textile engineering works and the Siberian works 
for mining equipment is in hand. The Berezniki 
Chemical Combine has been built. The potash mines 
in the Urals are being developed. The coke and 
chemical industries are growing in the Kuzbas and 
the Urals. The construction of the Kuznetsk loco- 
motive works has begun. A number of existing 
works, including those at Zlatoust for machine tools 
and at Cheliabinsk for agricultural machinery, have 
been reconstructed and enlarged. 

A number of factories for food and other light 
industries have grown up, such as the cotton com- 
bines in Barnaoul and sugar refineries. The wood- 
working industry has increased, especially in Western 



Siberia. The second five-year plan proposes a still 
greater development of industry, agriculture and 
wood-working in the Urals and Western Siberia. 

The Urals are to become one of the most technic- 
ally and economically advanced industrial centres 
of the U.S.S.R. By the end of the second five-year 
plan the Urals will occupy the third place in coal 
output, the second in ferrous metallurgy (the Magni- 
togorsk works alone will yield 2-7 million tons of pig 
iron), the first in copper, the second in aluminium, 
and in their export of wood pulp the second place in 
the U.S.S.R. Sixteen new centres are to be created 
for light industry, and thirty-six for the food indus- 
try ; as a result of this the Urals will have their own 
base for the production of consumption goods. In 
order to provide the rapidly increasing industrial 
population of the Urals with meat, dairy products 
and vegetables, a great increase of agriculture, 
especially of stock raising and vegetable and melon 
cultivation, will be introduced. Western Siberia will 
develop at no less a rate. Kuzbas must become a 
second Donbas. The production of machinery will be 
increased six times in the five years. The chemical 
industry will be developed on a very large scale, as 
well as the production of electrical energy. Twenty- 
five coal mines with a capacity of forty-four million 
tons will enter into production. 

The building of all essential departments in the 
Kuznetsk metallurgical works is to be completed, 
and a second works built. New locomotive works in 

K Vol. 10 145 


Kuznetsk will be constructed and a chemico- 
metallurgical combine will be built at Kemerovo. 
Thus Western Siberia will become a region with a 
specially concentrated and technically advanced 
large-scale industry. Moreover, to provide the 
growing working staffs of Western Siberia with 
consumption goods, the food and other light indus- 
tries must be developed on a large scale. The sowing 
area will be increased by 23 per cent, the wheat area 
by 38 per cent and beet cultivation will be increased 
almost four times. The increase in stock raising will 
be no smaller. In addition the working up of agri- 
cultural products will be increased. 

To sum up, during the second five-year plan the 
construction of the second coal and metal base 
the Ural-Kuznetsk Combine must be completed. 
With this aim the Soviet Government, out of the 
total of its capital investments, has assigned about 
25 per cent, or above 30 milliard rubles, for the 
completion of the Ural-Kuznetsk Combine. 

We need not labour the point that such a tremen- 
dous growth of the second coal and metallurgical 
base alone has confronted Soviet transport with 
great problems during the first and even more 
during the second five-year plan. During the years 
of the Revolution the goods traffic on the railways of 
the Urals and Western Siberia has considerably 
increased. This is clearly shown by the following 
table : 




(in million tons) 

Regions 1913 1926 1932 

The Urals 5-7 8-1 18-2 

Siberia 2*9 4 16*9 

This is in fact an unprecedented growth. The 
growth in 1927-325 that is, when the large construc- 
tion programme was being carried out, was especi- 
ally rapid. In 1932 the Urals increased their railway 
shipments three times and Siberia increased hers 
almost seven times. 

During the second five-year plan this traffic will 
increase still more. It will increase particularly on 
the main Siberian line Kuznetsk-Leninsk-Novosi- 
birsk-Omsk-Ural, where the coal from the Kuzbas 
to the Urals will go in one direction and Ural ore 
back to the Kuzbas in the other. 

The old single-track line was very inefficient from 
the technical point of view ; it had a low carrying 
capacity and could not meet the requirements of 
the east of the U.S.S.R. Therefore it was decided to 
reconstruct the Ural-Kuzbas main line, on which 
the bulk of the cargo and passenger traffic will be 
concentrated. A new line Ysyaty-Kuznetsk was 
built, 1 60 km. in length. It connected Kuzbas with 
the Siberian line. A new line was built from Leninsk 
to Novosibirsk, 295 km. in length, with a big bridge 
across the river Tom. It shortened the route for 
Kuzbas coal on the Siberian line by almost 100 km, 



Another line, 363 km. long, was constructed from 
Sverdlovsk to Kurgan ; it provided the shortest 
route from Sverdlovsk, the centre of the Urals, to 
the Siberian line, thus being the third outlet from 
the Urals, supplementing the two existing outlets 
Omsk-Tumen-Sverdlovsk and Kurgan-Cheliabinsk 
-Sverdlovsk. A line was built from Kortaly to 
Magnitnaya, 146 km. long ; it connects the Magnito- 
gorsk Metallurgical Works with the main line. 
Moreover, the main line through Kuzbas-Leninsk- 
Novosibirsk - Omsk - Petropavlovsk - Kurgan - 
Cheliabinsk - Kortaly - Magnitnaya will be doubled. 
The main railway junctions Kuznetsk, Leninsk, 
Novosibirsk, Omsk, Kurgan, Cheliabinsk (Pole- 
taevo), Kortaly, Magnitnaya and a number of 
smaller junctions have been extended and re- 
organised. The main gradient on the Siberian line 
has been reduced to 0-004 ; the general condition 
of the railway has been improved, and the number 
of sleepers per km. increased ; new and heavier 
rails have been laid ; the ballast layer has been 
strengthened, repair shops have been extended, and 
the main line supplied with new and more powerful 
engines ; new large open metal, automatically un- 
loading wagons for the transport of coal and ore 
have been brought into use ; considerable work has 
been done for the mechanisation of loading, 
especially in the region of the Kuzbas and Magnito- 
gorsk works. Communication and signalling devices 
were also reconstructed on the main line. Altogether 



the Siberian main line has been entirely transformed; 
nothing like it existed in the old Russia. It has 
become a well-equipped main line with a high 
carrying capacity. At the same time important work 
on the development of the local lines in the Kuzbas 
has been carried out, especially on the Ural railways, 
where a number of new lines have been built, tracks 
and junctions reconstructed, and the main industrial 
Ural line Kizil-Chusovaya, 112 km. in length, has 
been electrified. This line will soon be completely 
electrified as far as Sverdlovsk. But the work of 
strengthening the Siberian main line is not com- 
pleted. During the second five-year plan it will be 
supplied with automatic coupling which will double 
its carrying capacity. Moreover, the main part of 
the Novosibirsk-Omsk line will be electrified. The 
whole track will be laid with new and heavier rails 
and it will be strengthened in order to carry the 
heaviest goods engines of the " Felix Dzerzhinski " 
type, powerful electric engines, and heavy high- 
speed trains. As a result of this the Siberian main line 
will become one of the most technically advanced 
and powerful main lines, capable of fully meeting 
the requirements of the Ural-Kuznetsk Combine, 
the construction of which is being completed, and 
also of supplying the necessary inter-regional con- 
nections between the Central Industrial Region, 
Eastern Siberia and the Far East. 

It is evident that the creation of the Ural-Kuznetsk 
Combine has caused a considerable increase of the 


goods and passenger traffic between the European 
and the eastern part of the U.S.S.R. During the 
Revolution it has increased almost six times as 
compared with the pre-war period. In 1913 this 
amounted to i -7 million tons and in 1932 it reached 
10 million tons. Moreover the relation between the 
loaded and empty runs has materially changed. In 
1913 the main flow went from Siberia to the centre ; 
full use of the line was made for timber and grain, 
but the flow from Central Russia to Siberia was very 
small at that time. 

In 1932 this state of things was radically changed. 
The flow from the centre of the Union to Siberia 
increased considerably more than that in the opposite 
direction, this being the result of the tremendous rate 
of construction in the east. As a result the flows to 
Siberia and back were more or less equally balanced. 
The intensive growth of inter-regional relations 
between the eastern and the European part of the 
U.S.S.R. was hindered by the limited and unsatis- 
factory conditions of the main line built by the old 
Russia. Tsarist Russia carried on its insignificant 
communication with the east by means of two single- 
track lines of low capacity. 

The first main line (the northern one) went from 
Petersburg through Vologda, Viatka, Perm to 
Sverdlovsk and on to the east. In the Moscow region 
it was joined by another line through Moscow- 
Jaroslavl-Danilov- Vologda. The second or southern 
main line went from Moscow through Riazan, 



Ruzverka, Syzran, where there was a branch from 
the Ukraine, through Valougky-Povorino-Rtichev 
-Penza-Syzran ; below Syzran these two lines were 
connected with the Urals and Siberia by a single- 
track main line, passing through Samara-Ufa- 
Berdiuch-Cheliabinsk and on to the east. 

The Soviet Government could not rest content 
with such a low capacity on one of the most important 
transport lines for the economic development of the 

Transport to the east began to improve in a 
decisive manner after 1917. First a third line to the 
Urals and Siberia was built. For this purpose a small 
track directed to the east, namely the Moscow- 
Moorom-Arzamas line, was continued for 255 km. 
to Konasch, and then through Kazan-Agryz- 
Drugino to Sverdlovsk by laying down a new line 
855 km. long from Derbyshy to Sverdlovsk. Thus in 
addition to the two single-track lines inherited from 
Tsarist Russia a third line was built. But even this 
measure could not satisfy the quickly growing needs 
for transport between the European part of the 
U.S.S.R. and the east, including transport between 
the Ukraine and the Urals. To increase these trans- 
port facilities a second track was laid on the southern 
main line Cheliabinsk-Ufa-Samara-Syzran, and the 
same was done on the southern line Syzran-Penza- 
Rtichev-Povorino-Valougky. In addition to this, 
in 1927, a line 380 km. long was added from Nizhni- 
Novgorod (now Gorki) to Kotelnichy, and in 1933 


a new railway bridge across the Volga was built 
near Gorki. This improved the transport facilities 
between various regions in the centre of the U.S.S.R. 
and the Urals. Transport could now be effected 
along the main line Moscow-Gorki, Novyi Most- 

The task of constructing the Volga-Don Canal 
has been included in the second five-year plan. This 
canal will establish river communication between the 
Donbas and the Urals. In particular it will make it 
possible to send flotillas of barges along the Kama 
and Volga. Up to now the barges have gone as far 
as Stalingrad and their cargo has there been trans- 
ferred to the railroad, to be shipped further to the 
Ukraine and Donbas. The Volga-Don Canal will 
create an uninterrupted water route to the Ukraine 
and thus save the reloading of a considerable 
amount of goods at Stalingrad. Besides the recon- 
struction work increasing the capacity of the Kama- 
Volga basin and later that of the Kama- Volga-Don, 
direct navigation has been organised between Mos- 
cow and Ufa, which is at present carried through 
the river system Moskva, Oka, Volga, Kama and 

Thus the great work performed since 1917, 
especially in the construction period including the 
first five-year plan, has led to a considerable in- 
crease of transport communications between the 
European and the eastern parts of the U.S.S.R. 
Still further work, for the creation of railway and 


water routes of great capacity, to meet the increasing 
flow of cargo from the centre to the east, is planned 
in the second five-year plan. 

The outlets from the Ural-Kuznetsk Combine to 
Eastern Siberia and the Far East have had to be 
increased. The growth of the cargoes carried by 
railway and water transport is a striking illustration 
of the development of the economy of Western 
Siberia, the autonomous republic of Buryat-Mon- 
golia and Yakutia, as well as of the Far East. Thus, 
for example, in 1913 the total weight of goods sent 
by railway from these regions was two million tons ; 
in 1932 it was over ten million tons. The Lena 
River basin has increased its cargo turnover to 60 
thousand tons, while in 1913 the volume of transport 
there was negligible, and the Amur River main line 
in the south of Eastern Siberia and the Far East 
increased its goods transport from 220 thousand 
tons in 1928 to 650 thousand tons in 1932. 

The north of Eastern Siberia and the Far East, 
with the Indigirka and Kolyma river basins, are 
served by the northern route through the Behring 
Straits and the Arctic Ocean. The transport connec- 
tions with the Yakut republic have been improved 
by the building of motor roads. In addition to the 
Irkutsk-Kachuga motor road, a new important 
Angara-Lena motor road was built during the first 
five-year plan. 




THE CREATION of the Ural-Kuznetsk coal and 
metal combine on the one hand, and the develop- 
ment of the economy of Kazakstan and Middle 
Asia on the other, demanded the establishment of 
efficient transport communication between these 
two regions. There was no direct railway communi- 
cation between Siberia, Kazakstan and Central Asia, 
and the communication between the Urals, Kazak- 
stan and Central Asia was very weak and indirect, 
involving a detour for several hundred kilometres 
through Ufa-Samara-Orenburg and on to Tash- 

The Samara-Orenburg-Kazalinsk-Tashkent rail- 
way, built under the Tsarist regime, was primarily of 
strategic value, having almost no economic signi- 
ficance. The goods traffic between Tashkent and 
Orenburg in 1913 was only from 500,000 to one 
million tons. Tsarist Russia did not pay any special 
attention either to the development of transport in 
Kazakstan itself, where the chief means of transport 


were camels, or to its connections with other regions. 
A vast area, five times the size of France and six 
times the size of Germany, up to 1917 had only 
2,365 km. of railway line, i.e., the line through 
Samara-Orenburg-Kazalinsk-Tashkent. This line 
did not pass through the most important regions of 
Kazakstan. The whole central and still more the 
eastern and northern parts of Kazakstan were com- 
pletely lacking in railway transport. And this in 
spite of the fact that Kazakstan is rich in various 
mining products oil, coal, iron, copper and poly- 
metallic ores, fire-clay, lime, common and Glauber's 
salt not to mention a great quantity of fish and 
conditions favourable for stock-raising and agricul- 
ture. All these were neglected and remained in an 
undeveloped state. 

After the delivery of Kazakstan from the White 
armies of Kolchak and Dutoff, the Kazak Socialist 
Autonomous Republic was formed on August 26, 
1920. The development of the economy of this vast 
region of the U.S.S.R. took a new course. 

From the moment of the formation of the Kazak 
Autonomous Socialist Republic serious geological 
investigation of the Karaganda coal-mines was 
undertaken. As a result of these investigations a 
considerable area of rich coal-seams was discovered 
in Karaganda. In February 1931 the first Karaganda 
coal was received at Kuzbas, and experimental cok- 
ing was undertaken. It gave good results, yielding 
good, hard grey coke suitable for smelting. Thus the 


significance of the Karaganda basin considerably 
increased as it was not only a source of energy but > 
and this was far more important a source of fuel 
for metallurgy. Large mines were promptly de- 
veloped. A route to the Southern Urals had to be 
created for Karaganda coal, in order to supply 
Magnitogorsk iron-works. For this purpose it was 
necessary to cope with a distance of over 700 km. 
without any railway lines. And gradually a new 
main line branched off the Siberian track. It began 
to grow to the south through Kazakstan. In 1927 
a part of this line, 264 km. long, had been built 
between Petropavlovsk and Borovoe and in 1931 it 
was prolonged 452 km. further to the south through 
Akmolinsk as far as Karaganda. A new main line 
716 km. long came into existence. As a result of this 
there was a rapid increase in the output of Kara- 
ganda coal, which reached 740,000 tons in 1932, 
as against 66,000 in 1913. During the second five- 
year plan the Karaganda mines are to yield 7-5 
million tons of coal and thus increase their share 
in the total output of the Soviet Union to five per 

Simultaneously with the investigation and develop- 
ment of the Karaganda coal basin the biggest copper 
mines, not only in the U.S.S.R. but in the world, 
were discovered on the north shore of Lake Bal- 
khash, 500 km. to the south of Karaganda. 

The construction of a Balkhash copper combine 
is being proceeded with ; for this purpose the 



communication by water through Lake Balkhash, 
the new ships on the River Ily, and the newly built 
Turksib railway, are being used. But this does not 
solve the problem of providing sufficient transport 
for the copper combine which is now being built. 
Therefore in order to completely solve this problem 
the Soviet Government decided to extend for 507 km. 
as far as Lake Balkhash, the already existing railway 
line Petropavlovsk-Borovoe-Akmolinsk-Karaganda. 
The construction of this line is going ahead at full 
speed, and in the near future this region of Kazakstan 
will be connected with the general railway system. 
The old line of the Orenburg-Tashkent railway has 
been considerably improved. Formerly there existed 
only a very inconvenient and devious line of com- 
munication between the Urals, Kazakstan and 
Central Asia, by the Cheliabinsk- Ufa -Samara - 
Orenburg line. 

At present a new and shorter route, 659 km. in 
length, has been constructed from the Urals to 
Kazakstan and on to Central Asia through Troitzk- 
Omsk-Orenburg, which considerably facilitates the 
supply of Kazakstan and Central Asia with Ural 
timber, metal ware, and agricultural machinery, 
including tractors and other consumption goods. 
The flow of cotton, fruit and meat in the opposite 
direction has increased. Finally a third route to 
Kazakstan has been opened by building the Turkes- 
tan-Siberian main line, which covers the whole area 
of Kazakstan and thus connects it with Western 



Siberia, The Turksib railway is of great significance 
not only for Kazakstan but for the whole of Western 
Siberia and Central Asia. 

Such an extensive construction of railways in 
Kazakstan, as well as a considerable increase in other 
transport routes, has greatly influenced the develop- 
ment of the economy of Kazakstan. During the first 
five-year plan Kazakstan proved to be one of the 
main bases for non-ferrous metallurgy, and increased 
its share in the production of the U.S.S.R. to 
10 per cent. 

Big non-ferrous metallurgical works have been 
built, and more are in process of construction, for 
instance the Dez-Kazgan copper works, Kazpoly- 
metal in Chimkent and the Ridderovo Combinat. 
The very large copper combine Pribalkhashstroi is 
under construction. The exploitation of the rich 
coal basin of Karaganda is being developed on a 
large scale, this basin being the third largest coal 
producer in the Soviet Union. In the field of chemical 
industry the construction of a big chemical combine 
in Aktubinsk was undertaken during the first five- 
year plan ; this provides fertilisers for the cotton 
fields of Kazakstan and Central Asia. Simultan- 
eously with the development of heavy industry the 
construction of factories for the food and other light 
industries is going on. A fruit and vegetable com- 
bine, a big wool-washing factory, a powerful meat 
combine in Semipalatinsk and a number of others 
are being built. The sowing area has increased from 



3-75 million hectares in 1928 to 5-6 million hectares 
in 1932. 

The share of technical plants, especially of those 
new to Kazakstan (beetroot, and rubber plants) , has 
greatly increased. The organisation of large Soviet 
cattle and grain farms, collectivisation together with 
the introduction of a high machine technique, has 
produced fundamental changes in the organisation 
of agriculture. All this in its turn has made new 
demands on transport. The development of railway 
transport from Kazakstan is given in the following 
table : 


Share of Kazakstan 

Years in million tons in the U.S.S.R. total 

1913 0-9 0.7 

1925-26 0-95 0-8 

1932 4-5 1-66 

In future the economy of the country will be 
developed still more intensively, which in its turn 
will increase the transport work required. 



THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT has completed the 
gigantic undertaking of the Turksib railway which 
connects Western Siberia, rich in timber, grain and 
cattle, and its recently created industrial base, with 
Central Asia, where the main cotton production of 
the Soviet Union is concentrated. The question of 
the construction of the Turkestan-Siberian railway 
had for a long time occupied the more progressive 
minds of Tsarist Russia. This project appeared first in 
1878 when a man by the name of Dubelt presented a 
report to the Tsarist Ministry of Transport on the 
immediate necessity of building the Turkestan- 
Siberian railway. But this was not decided on then, 
or even twenty years later, in 1899, when the ques- 
tion of the construction of the Turkestan-Siberian 
railway was discussed for the second time in the 
Ministry of Transport. In 1905 this question was 
raised for the third time, but still no decision was 
made. The idea of building the new railway was 
completely abandoned by the Tsarist Government. 

1 60 


The Soviet Government took up the question of 
building the Turkestan-Siberian railway in a 
different manner. It started from the fact that 
Kazakstan has such possibilities for the development 
of cotton production as would free the textile 
industry of the Soviet union from the necessity of 
importing cotton. Even in 1913 the total yield of 
cotton in Central Asia and Kazakstan amounted to 
244,000 tons, the import being 193,000 tons. The 
area occupied by cotton in 1926-27 amounted to 
26 per cent of the total irrigated area of Central 
Asia. The rest was occupied by grain and other 
products. The question of enlarging the cotton area, 
involving new irrigation, and even more at the 
expense of grain and other products in Central 
Asia, was definitely put forward. To solve this ques- 
tion it was necessary in the first place to provide 
Central Asia and Kazakstan with an uninterrupted 
supply of grain and other goods. This object was to 
be fulfilled by the Turkestan-Siberian railway, by 
means of which a large flow of grain from fertile 
Siberia as well as some areas of Kazakstan could be 
directed to Central Asia. 

Simultaneously with a considerable supply of 
grain, a considerable supply of timber would 
traverse the Turksib railway from the rich forests 
of Western and Eastern Siberia to Central Asia. 
Balancing the main flow of grain and timber, metals 
and cattle from Western Siberia to Central Asia, 
cotton, fruit, etc., would go from Central Asia and 

L Vol.w 161 


Kazakstan and Western Siberia. This economic 
relation between Siberia and Central Asia empha- 
sised in all its urgency the necessity of building the 
Turkestan-Siberian railway in the shortest possible 
time. It was beyond doubt that this line was neces- 
sary and would provide enormous assistance in the 
development of industry, agriculture and the trade 
turnover of the regions through which it would pass. 

In December 1926 the Soviet Government decided 
to build this railway, i -441 km. in length, at the cost 
of 203-5 million rubles. Turksib was built under 
difficult conditions. Its route lay far from the 
industrial centres of the U.S.S.R., in a little explored 
and sparsely populated desert area, with difficult 
contours ; great difficulties faced the constructors. 
But workers and engineers understood the responsi- 
bility of the task set by the Government, and they 
worked enthusiastically. After three years and a half, 
on April 28, 1930, the Turkestan-Siberian railway 
was completed. 

Only three years have passed since Turksib 
entered the ranks of the railways of the U.S.S.R., 
and these three years have been years of intensive 
growth in Central Asia. A striking example of this 
growth is not only the absolute growth of goods 
traffic on the railways, for the period 1928-32, but 
also the growth of the relative share of Central Asia 
in the total goods transport of the country. 

In 1913 the railways of Central Asia transported 
about two million tons, and in 1932 the goods traffic 



on the railways was over five million tons, the relative 
share of Central Asia in the total for the U.S.S.R. 
having risen from i -6 per cent to 2 per cent between 
1928 and 1932. The Central Asiatic basin, including 
Lake Balkhash, increased its goods transport from 
40,000 to 440,000 tons, i.e. ten times. 

Turksib has strengthened the inter-regional con- 
nections between Central Asia and other regions of 
the U.S.S.R. Formerly Central Asia had two railway 
lines that connected it with other regions of the 
U.S.S.R. The Tashkent-Krasnodar sk line connected 
Central Asia with Transcaucasia through the 
Caspian Sea, where it received oil products. The 
North Caucasus provided grain, while the Volga 
water route provided it with a certain amount of 
timber. There was also a second line to the centre of 
the U.S.S.R. by means of the Tashkent railway 
through Kazalmok-Orenburg, by which cotton 
was sent, and also to the Urals, from which it 
received timber. At present, since the construction 
of Turksib, Central Asia has obtained a third line 
which connects it with Siberia, from which it receives 
grain and timber ; and in connection with the 
construction in Western Siberia, in Novosibirsk 
and Barnoul of a new big textile combine, cotton 
will travel along Turksib from Central Asia to 
Siberia. In the future Central Asia will be given 
a fourth line that will facilitate and strengthen its 
connections with the Urals. This line will be formed 
by the northern line, now under construction, which 



is being continued through Karaganda to Lake 
Balkhash and Central Asia. As a result of a strength- 
ening of the inter-regional connections in Central 
Asia, the latter will be provided with the necessary 
amount of grain and timber which in its turn will 
allow it to increase considerably the cotton area at 
the expense of the area now occupied by cereals. 
The development of cotton growing on this basis has 
already enabled the Soviet Union to supply its 
textile industry entirely with Soviet cotton. Thus, 
for instance, while in 1915 in Tsarist Russia the 
cotton sown area covered 690,000 hectares, in 1929, 
on the eve of the exploitation of Turksib, it covered 
1,060,000 hectares, and after the completion of 
Turksib in 1933 it amounted to 2,050,000 hectares, 
i 3 million hectares of which were in Central Asia. 
The greatly increased area and crops of the cotton 
fields enabled the Soviet Union to increase the total 
production of raw cotton from the 7 -4 million bales 
obtained in 1913 by Tsarist Russia to 13-2 million 
bales in 1933. Thus with the help of the Turkestan- 
Siberian railway the Soviet Union has solved the 
problem of cotton. 

But not only agriculture, and especially cotton, 
have developed in Central Asia since the construc- 
tion of Turksib and the strengthening of the old 
routes through Krasnozavodsk and Orenburg. The 
industrial basis has also been developed. The 
construction of a big works for agricultural mach- 
inery in Tashkent ; the building of the Ilyitch 



metallurgical works with a large department for iron 
production ; the powerful Chirchiksk electric station 
and a combine for nitrogenous fertilisers for the 
cotton fields ; the development of mining and non- 
ferrous metallurgy ; the building of a very large 
sulphur plant in the Kara-Kum desert ; the exploit- 
ation of mitabilite in Kara-Bugas ; the development 
of the oil industry ; the coal industry producing 
700,000 tons of coal in 1932 ; the development of a 
number of food and other light industry enterprises 
all this has created a solid industrial basis in the 
republics of Central Asia. During the second five- 
year plan the economy of this region will show a still 
sharper increase, and this will require a further 
intensive development of transport in Central Asia. 



MUCH HAS BEEN DONE by the Soviet Govern- 
ment in its fight with the bad roads of Old Russia. 
New construction has been carried out, a new motor 
and air transport has been created, a considerable 
reorganisation of transport routes and other sections 
of the unified transport system of the U.S.S.R. has 
been effected, means of communication between 
different regions as well as in the regions themselves 
have been strengthened. But all this still does not 
satisfy the greatly enlarged requirements of the 
country for transport. 

The industry, agriculture and the trade turnover 
of the country are growing, the economy of the 
formerly neglected, semi-civilised regions is develop- 
ing, the level of cultural and material conditions of 
the workers of the U.S.S.R. is rising, and all this 
makes new demands on transport. 

Up to the present its development has been con- 
siderable, but it still lags behind the general de- 
velopment of the whole economy of the Soviet 
Union. That is why the Party and the Government 

1 66 


consider the development of transport one of the first 
and most important tasks. In the second five-year 
plan special attention is paid to the problem of 
transport in the U.S.S.R. The fight for a complete 
solution of the transport problem in the U.S.S.R. is 
directed in the second five-year plan to the following 
points : 

(1) A more rational distribution of relations be- 
tween different kinds of transport, based on their 
extension ; still more rational distribution of tiie 
considerable reconstruction planned by the second 
five-year plan, especially a more decisive strengthen- 
ing of transport between different regions as well as 
inside the regions themselves. 

(2) A more powerful mobilisation of all the con- 
siderable inner resources of the united transport 
system, by means of a decisive improvement of the 
definitely planned regulation of all kinds of transport, 
a radical improvement in repair work, an improve- 
ment of the political, cultural, material and tech- 
nical level of transport workers and a more rational 
exploitation of all existing means of transport. 

(3) The fulfilment of a new programme of large- 
scale construction, the creation of new important 
railway and water main lines between different 
regions, as well as of new transport routes. The 
fulfilment of a further programme for the reconstruc- 
tion of all kinds of transport ; trains, mechanised 
loading, reorganisation of signalling, and a better 
supply of main lines with modern technical devices, 


new powerful locomotives, electric motors, Diesel 
motors, steamers, special trucks with high carrying 
capacity, motor lorries and aeroplanes. 

(4) The accomplishment of a rational distribution 
of productive forces in the country with the aim of 
facilitating the work of transport, by locating in- 
dustry near the sources of raw material ; more 
rational and equal distribution of industrial and 
agricultural centres on the territory of the Soviet 
Union ; development of local fuels, especially in 
regions like Moscow, Transcaucasia, Central Asia, 
North and Western Siberia and the Far East ; the 
development of metallurgy, machine-building, 
chemical, food and other light industries in new 
regions ; the creation of a new oil-base in the east 
of the U.S.S.R., and the development of local 

(5) The provision of transport with new staffs 
of engineers and qualified workers and an improve- 
ment of their material and cultural conditions. 

The completion of the second five-year plan will 
make possible the solution of the problem of trans- 
port in the U.S.S.R. and create an exceptionally 
powerful and well-equipped transport that will 
satisfy the requirements of the country, w r hich is 
completing the technical reconstruction of its whole 

We have no doubt that the second five-year plan 
will be accomplished with no less success than the 
first. Powerful productive forces of the country have 



been set in action forces of which neither the old 
Tsarist Russia, nor ten years ago even the young 
Soviet Republics, could have dreamed. And these 
forces are controlled by the working masses of the 



AGRICULTURE, 38 ; collectivization 
of, 40, 77, 80 

Aircraft, Soviet built, 71 ff. ; pub- 
lic interest in, 72, 84 ; uses of, 
14, 70, 75, 76, 101, 106 

Air fleet, staff of, 73-4 

Air lines and transport, growth 
of, 14, 69 ff., 71, 1 66, tables, 70, 


Airship flights in 1933, 73 
Akmolinsk-Kartaly railway, 51 
AlesandrofY, I. G., and the Dnie- 
per rapids, 130 
Alexeef, Adjutant- General, cited, 

33 ff-. 

Amur river, 57 ; trade on, 59, 133 
Archangel, docks at, 68 ; railway 

to, 29, 121 ; shipping routes 

from, 65, 99-100, 104-5 
Arctic Ocean, river estuaries in, 98 
Arctic region, aviation bases in, 

109 ; maritime routes in, 65, 

96, 1045 ; polar stations in, 


Armenia, meat combine in, 135 
Armstrong, Adam, 42 
Astrakhan, oil transport to, 65 
Aviation, Arctic base for, 1091 
"Avtodor," 82, 83 
Azerbaijan, 83, 134 
Azov, Sea of, importance of, 62, 

65 ; proposed connection of, with 

the Black Sea, 120 

BABUSHKIN, , aviator, 73, 107 
Baikal, Lake, area of, 57 
Baikal- Amur railway, 52 
Bakin, , 111-12 
Baku, 49, 135 ; oil centre at, 134-5; 

port, 67, 69 

Bashkiria, 12 ; roads in, 78-9 
Balkhash, Lake, 13, 51, 57, 158; 

trade increase on, 59 
Baltic Sea, connection of, with 

the Black Sea, 120 ; foreign 

shipments of, 65 ; transport on, 

importance of, 62 
Baltic-White Sea Canal, 60, 96, 

in ff. ; construction of, see 


Batum, 69 ; electrified oil route 
to, 49 

Behring Strait, 107 ; sea route 
via, 102 ff. 

Berezina river, 128 

Black Sea, 131, 133; connection of 
with Baltic and other seas pro- 
jected, 120; Dnieper river flow- 
ing into, 131, 133 ; trade of, 62, 


Black Sea railway, 138 
Borovoe - Akmolinsk - Karaganda 

railway, 48 
Brakes, automatic, 54 
Briansk region, industry of, 132 ; 

railways serving, 48, 125 
Broadcasting stations, 90 ff. 
Bui-Danilov railway, 121 
Buryat-Mongolia, 153 

CANALS, 30, 57, 60, 61-2, 67, 
in ff 

Capital investments for transport, 

Caspian Sea, 36, 62, 120 ; oil 
fleet of, 65 ; proposed connec- 
tion of, with the Baltic, 120 

Caucasus, 83 ; transport to, 29, 
134 ff- 

Central Asia, growth of goods 
traffic, 162-3 ; industralisation 
of, 164-5 ; railway serving, 48, 
163 ; reception of motors, 84, 
river trade increase, 59 ; roads 
improving, 78 

Cheliabinsk, industries of, 144 

Cheliushkin, Cape, aviation base 
on, 1 09 

Cheliushkin Expedition, objects 
and success of, 104 ff. ; aviator 
rescuers of, 74, 108 

Chemical combines and factories, 

Chirchiksk electric station, 165 

Chombarski pass, 83 

Chuvash Socialist Republic, roads 
in, 79, 82-3 

Coal production, Central Asia, 
165, Kazakstan, 155-6, Trans- 
caucasia, 135, Ukraine, 122 ff., 


Coastal development and sea 
transport, 62-3 

Coasting trade, 65 

Communications, Tsarist, 9-10 ; 
Soviet re-organisation of, 94 ff. 

Communist Party, XVIIth Con- 
gress of, and the motor-car in- 
dustry, 80 ; on need of exten- 
sion of communications of all 
kinds, 92-3 

Copper, sources and production, 
144, 156 

Cotton production, 135, 136, 161, 

Coupling, automatic, 91, 138 

Crimean Republic, roads in, 79 

DAMS, designers of, 114-15 

" Deruluft," air lines organised 

by, 69 

Desna river, 128 
Dirigibles, 72 ff. 
Dnieper hydro-electric station, 

l ? l > *3 2 
Dnieper Industrial Combine, 132 

Dnieper river, areas served by, in- 
dustries along, 12,57, 128, 131- 
3 ; rapids on, 301, the new, 
127, 128 ff. ; abolished, 60, 
96, 129 ff. ; Northern, efforts 
to connect with the Baltic Sea, 

Dnieper-Boug estuary, transport 
on, 128 

Dnepropetrovsk industrial re- 
gion, 132 

Dnieprostroi works, 124, 131 

" Dobrolet " air association, 69, 
survey work of, 70 

Don, river, 57 

Donbas, coal and metal base, 10, 
18, 22-3, production of, 122 ff. 

Donbas - Kharkov - Moscow un- 
derground telegraph-telephone, 

Donbas-Moscow railway, 126 

Donetz coal-mining district, 27, 


Doronin, , aviator, 74, 108 
Dubelt, , 160 
Dubrovsky dike, 116 
Dvina, Northern, basin, cargo 

turnover of, 59 

Electric goods transport, 49-50 
Electric welding, 68 

Electrical apparatus for communi- 
cation, Soviet-built, 91 

Electro - mechanical low-tension 
industry, 91-2 

FAR EAST, development of, 153 

Financial planning of transport, 16, 
21 ff. 

Five-year plan, first, results of, 
41 ff., 66, 67-8, gi-2, 121, 133, 
^S* *36 ; second, schemes of, 
51, 61, 66-7, 74-5, 80-1, 92, 
109-10, 120, 133, 138-9, I43 
145 ff., 167-8 ; third, intended 
reorganisation during, of com- 
munications, 94 ff. 

Food and light industry enter- 
prises, 135, i44-5 167 

Foreign capital in Russian trans- 
port, 28, 32, 33 

Forest and steppe industries, 132 

Franz Joseph Land, aviation base 
on, 109 

Freight rates, fixing of, 16, 22 ff. ; 
differentiated table of, 24 

" Friends of the Air Fleet," 70 

Fuels, local, development of, 168 

GALYSHEFF, , aviator, 74 
Goods transport, rail and river, 
changes in and volume of, 15, 
16, 18, 19 ff., 43~4, 5 8 -9 
Gorki, 80, 83, 1 21 ; Volga bridge 
at, 121 

HATANGA RIVER, trade of, 12, 60, 

100, 109 
" Heroes of the Soviet Union/* 

the, 74, 108 
Highways, 77, 79, 81 
Horse transport, 14, 76, 77, 79 
Hydro-electric stations, 130, 131, 

132, 136 

ICE-BREAKERS, 101, 104, 109 

Idilia Island, 106 

Igarka river, transport on, 109 

Indigirka river, 13, 60 ; trade of, 

Industrialisation, Soviet concen- 
tration on, 41 ff., passim 

Internal resources, mobilisation of, 


Inter-regional relations, strength- 
ening of, 96 

Irkutsh, distribution from, of 
goods, 77 

Iron, and ironworks, 140, 141, 144 


Irtysh river, 56-7 ; trade increase 

on, 59 

Ishevsky cartridge works, 35 
Ivanovno, industrial centre, 27, 


JAPAN, SEA OF, transport on, 62 

KACHUG, port, 77 

Kamanin, H., aviator, 74, 108 

Kama river, trade of, 1913, 57 

Kara Sea, aviation bases in, 109 ; 
goods turnover of, table, 102 ; ice- 
breakers of, 101 ; radio stations 
serving, 100-1 ; shipping routes 
in, 100-1 

Kara-Bugas, mitabilite exploita- 
tion in, 165 

Kara-Kum, desert of, 83 ; sulphur 
plant in, 165 

Karaganda, coal of, 48, 49, 51 

Karelia, roads in, 78 ; timber, etc., 
of, canal projects for exploiting, 
1 1 1 ff. 

Kashira, electric locomotives 
building at, 51 

" Karskie Vorota " straits, 100 

Kauchuk factory workers and 
aviation, 72 

Kazakstan, 12, 83 ; goods traffic 
from, table, 159 ; mineral wealth 
of, 155 ff. ; railways, 29, 156 ff. ; 
roads, 79 ; technical plants in, 
159 ; transport of, development 
of, 154 ff. 

Kazantzeff automatic brake, 54 

Kharkov-Donetz industrial centre, 

Kherson, port at, 67, 69 

Kiev, industries of, 132 

Kittiwake, U.S. ss., 103 

Koluchino Island, 106 ; polar 
station at, 108 

Kolyma river, basin and estuary, 
12, 13, 60, 98, 99; shipping 
route to, from Vladivostok, 102, 
cargoes transported to, table, 103 

Kolyma, Russian ss., 103 

Kramatorsky machine - building 
works, 124, 143 

Krasno-Ural combine, 144 

Krasny Liman junction, 48-9 

Krevorok iron-ore district, junc- 
tion for, 126 

Krivoi Rog mineral district and 
Donbas coal district, connection 
of, 45, 48, 49, iron-ore of, 122, 

metallurgical industry developed 

from, 122-3 > traffic from, 131-3 
Kupiansk - Chelyabinsk railway, 

Urals and Ukraine linked by, 

Kuzbas, 142 ; coking coal of, 140, 

estimated reserves of, 142 ; 

metallurgical works of, 142 ; 

scheme for, of second five-year 

plan, 145 
Kuznetsk, 77 ; junction at, 49 ; 

locomotive works. 143, 144 
Kuznetsk, district, coal from, 48 
Kuznetskstroi, iron production at, 

Kuznetsk-Ural railway, 147, 148-9 

LABOUR plan for transport, 16 

Ladoga, Lake, 57 

Lakes, largest, 57 

Laptev Sea, 106 ; aviation bases 
in, 108 ; polar stations in, 108 

Lebedev, Professor, 115 

Lena river, basin, estuary and 
port, 12, 56, 77, 98, 99; cargo 
turnover increase, 59, 153 ; 
road transport, 13 ; shipping 
trade, Eastern, 100, 102, 103 

Lenin, Russian ss., in the 
Kolyma-Vladivostok trade, 103 

Lenin, V., cited, 38, 141 

Leningrad, coal supply of, 48 ; 
mechanised harbour at and port 
improvements, 68-9 ; transport 
connections of, with the Ukraine, 
124-5, 127 

Leningrad- Vladivostok sea route, 
1 20 

Leninsk-Novosibirsk railway, 48 

Levanevsky, S., aviator, 74, 108 

Liapidevsky, A., aviator, 73-4, 108 

Lieutenant Schmidt, ship, 103 

Lieutenant Schmidt works, 135 

Ltkaya-Stalingrad line, 126 

Locks, Baltic Canal, new devices 
in, 115 

Locomotives and loco-building 
works, 30, 49, 52 ff., 124, J43~4> 
149 ; electric, 49, 51, 52, 54 

Lugansk, works at, 50, 124 


132, 135, 143, 164 
Machine-tractor stations, 88 
Magnitogorsk, 49, 77, iron works 
at, 51-2, 140, 142, scheme for, 
of second five-year plan, 145 


Magnitostroi, iron production at, 


Manganese, sources of, 132, 135 
Manikovsky, General, 34, 35 
Mariinsky canal system, 30, 62, 


Mariupol, port at, 69 
Marty ship-building works, 124 
Materials, planning for supplies of, 


Matochkin Shar, straits of, ship- 
ping via, 100 

Matrosoff's automatic brake, 54 
Mechanisation of loading opera- 
tions, 50 
Mercantile marine, growth of, 63, 


Merefa to Kherson railway, 126 
Metallurgical works, 122-3, I2 4 
132-3, 142, 144, 164-5 J non- 
ferrous, 135, 158-9 
Mezen river basin, 12, shipments 

from, 1 20-1 
Middle Volga district, roads of, 

8 3 
Molokov, V., aviator, 74, 108 

Moscow, electrical communica- 
tions of, 88 ; motor-car works 
at, 80, 83 ; spare part factory at, 
51 ; suburban railway electri- 
fied, 48 

Moscow Aviation Institute stu- 
dents, enthusiasm of, 72 

Moscow district, industrial centre, 
2 7> 37 39 5 roads in, extension 
of, 79 

Moscow-Donbas railway, 48, 51 

Moscow - Karakum Moscow 
motor run, 1933, 83-4 

Moscow-Kovno-Koenigsberg air 
line, 69 
being built, 56 

Moscow-Noginsk super-speed line 

Moscow Ufa, direct navigation 
between, 152 

Moscow-Ukraine, transport be- 
tween, 127 

Moskvoretsky water system, 62 

Motor-car works, 80, 83 

Motor-cars and lorries, numbers 
of, past and present 79, 80 

Motor run, Moscow to Karakum 
and back, 83-4 

Motor transport, 13-14, 76 fF., 166 ; 
extension scheme for, 80, 81 

Murmansk, port at, 67, 69 ; ship- 
ping route from, 99, 104 

Murmansk railway, 120 

NEW CONSTRUCTION, planning for, 

Nicholas II, Tsar, 33 

Nickel works, Ural, 144 

Nijni Tagyi wagon-building com- 
bine, 144 

Nikha, silk winding combine in, 


Northern sea route, 62, 65-6, 98, 
153; eastern sections, 102 ff. ; 
western section, 99 ff. 

Nova Zembla, 100, 101 

November Revolution, 1917, 36 ; 
and nationalisation of transport, 

Novosibirsk, port at, 69 

Non-ferrous metallugical develop- 
ments, 135, 158-9 

OBI river, and estuary, 57, 98, 99, 
ships visiting, 100, 101, table, 
102 ; trade increase, 59 

Obvikhov \vorks, 34 

O.G.P.U., the, construction by, of 
the Baltic-White Sea Canal, 114 
fT. ; labour employed in, solely 
criminal, reformation effected 
by, 1 1 6 fF. 

Oil industry, 1345 

Oil route, Baku to Batum, 
electrified, 49 

Oil and timber exchange on the 
Dnieper, 1323 

Oil transport, maritime, 65, 136-7, 
pipe line, 1378, rail, 49 

Olovianny, Cape, polar station at, 

Onega, Lake, 57 ; canal projects 
for, in, 112 

Onega river, basin of, 12 ; pro- 
posed canal from, in ; ship- 
ments from, 1 20 i 

Orel-Kursk line, 125 

Orenburg-Tashkent line, 157 

Orlok, , ex-thief, cited, 118-19 

Osnova-Lgov-Navlia line, 125 

Ovchennikov, , ex- thief, cited, 

PALSHMINSKY works, 144 
Passenger transport by river, 

increase in, table, 58 
Pechora river, basin, estuary and 

port, 12, 13, 67, 68, 98, 99, 

cargo turnover of, rise of, 59 5 

shipments from, 


People's Commissariat for Com- 
munications, links between and 
regional railway directors, 90-1 

People's Commissaries, Council of, 
and the Baltic-White Sea Canal, 
1 1 1 ff. ; and the Dnieper rapids, 

Peter I and the Don coalfields, 122 

Petersburg, city. See Leningrad 

Petersburg district, industrial 

centre, 27, 37, 39 
.PetrofT, , aviator, 74 

Petropavlosk-Karaganda line, ex- 
tension of, 157 

Petrozavodsk merchants, White 
Sea canal project of, 112 

Photographic [electric] transmis- 
sion, 8990 

Pipe lines for Trans Caucasian oil, 

Post offices and postmen, past, 
and present, 85, 87 

Posts and telegraphs, Tsarist and 
Soviet, 84 ff. 

Potash mines, Urals, development 
of, 144 

Povenetz, the, 112 

Pravfla, and aviation, 72 

Pripet river, 128 

Prokhladnaya-Tiflis line, 139 

Providence Bay, polar station at, 

Putilov works, 34 


transmitters, 89 ; lines of, with 
broadcasting facilities, 93~4 ; 
cable connections with foreign 
lands, 89 

Railway equipment, works supply- 
ing, 50-1 

Railway junctions, 48-9 

Railway transport, n, 13, 45 ff., 
distribution of traffic of in vari- 
ous regions, table, 44 ; excess over 
pre-war level, 64; increase of, 39; 
inter-regional, growth of, 45 ; 
scientific research work con- 
nected with, 53 ff. ; super-speed 
cars for, 55-6 ; turnover of, 1913 
and 1928, table, 43 

Railways, communications to be 
established on, 95-6 ; electrifi- 
cation of, 49-50, 148 ; equip- 
ment of. 49, 52, 53, 54-5, 

138 ; freight rates on, fixing of, 
1 6, 22, flat, and differentiated, 

24-5 ; new, reconstructed, and 
extended, 47-8, 54-5, 146 ff. ; 
second five-year plan for, 51 ff., 
95-6 ; Tsarist, 9, 10, 28-9, 30, 
36,37; Ukraine, 124-5; Urals 
and Western Siberia, 146 ff., 
table, 147 

Rate war, pre-Revolution, 9 

Red Army, 36 

Regions now developed by the 
Soviet, 44 

Repair workshops, 16 

River basins, under Tsardom and 
to-day, 12-13 

River fleet, 60, electrical com- 
munications and, 91 ; new, in 
construction, 62 

River transport, 12, 56 ff., excess 
over pre-war level, 64 ; exten- 
sion of, 60 ; goods carried, 
change in, 58-9, increased turn- 
over of, 58, 59 ; growing effici- 
ency of, 59-60 ; industrial bases 
for, 6 1 ; passengers carried, in- 
crease of, table, 58 ; river ports, 
reconstruction planned, 62 ; 
Tsarist, 30-1,57; Ukraine, 127 

Rivers, most important, 567 

Road transport, and roads, 13, 
76 ff. ; Tsarist, 30, 31, 33 ; im- 
proved, 1 66, total length, 1931, 

Russia, Tsarist, acreage under 
crops, 28 ; areas undeveloped, 
267 ; backwardness of, 28 ; ex- 
ports and imports of, 26 ; in- 
dustry in, 26, 27, 28 ff., col- 
lapse of transport during the 
war and civil war, 33 ff., 36-7 ; 
foreign capital engaged in, 32, 
foreign trade its chief object, 
32-3 ; railways, 9-10, 28-9, 30, 
condition of after the war and 
civil war, 36, 37, eastern, 29 ; 
river transport, 12, 30, 57 ; road 
transport, 31, 33 ; sea transport, 
state of, after the civil war, 
36-7 ; Soviet inheritance from, 
26 ff. 

Russkich, island, polar station on, 

SAMARA motor works, 80 
Samara-Tashkent line, 154-5 
Schmidt, O. J., leader, Cheli- 

ushkin expedition, 106, 107 
Sea route through the Arctic 

Ocean, 65, 66 


Sea transport, 13, 62 fT. ; of Cauca- 
sian oil, 136-7 ; foreign ship- 
ments, seas having greatest 
share in, 65 ; goods shipped by, 
changes in, table, 64, greatest in- 
crease, 64, increase in quantity, 
table, 63 ; sea to sea, 65 ; seas 
most important for, 62 ; three 
types of, 64-5 ; Tsarist, 36-7 

Serdtze-Kamen, Cape, 106 ; polar 
station on, 108 

Severny, Cape, 106 ; aviation base 
on, 109 ; radio station on, 103 

Shavansky dam, design of, 115 

Shelania, Cape, shipping route 
past, 101 

Shipbuilding, 66 ff. 

Shipping lines, competition 
among, 10 ; co-operation of, n 

Shorin, , telegraphic invention 
of, 89 

Siberia and other eastern regions, 
development of, 401 ; foreign 
sea traffic with impeded by 
Tsarist government, 98-9 ; rail- 
way communications with, past 
and present, 29, 48, 147 ff., 
151 ff., 163-4; republics in, 
development scheme for, no; 
river basins of, 30 ; river trans- 
port, development of, 60, 109, 
increased cargo turnover, 59 ; 
shortest shipping route from, to 
Europe, 100 ; textile and other 
mechanical industries of, 144 

Siberia, Eastern, motor lorry trans- 
port in, 14 ; Northern, tribes of, 
backwardness of, 99 ; Western, 
and the Urals, transport con- 
nections of, 140 ff. ; wealth of, 
in timber, grain and cattle, 160 

Siberia-Urals-Kurgan line, 48 

Siberian railway, 29, 48, 151 ff. 

Sibiriakov, ice-breaker, passage of, 
from Archangel to Vladivostok, 

Silk-winding combine, Trans- 
caucasia, 135 

Slepnev, , aviator, 74, 108 

Sluice - gates, wooden ; Baltic 
Canal, 115 

Soga river, 128 

Soroka, 112 ; port at, 67 

Soviet Union, area and population 
of, 11-12 

Sovnarkom, and the Dnieper 
rapids, 131 

Stalin, J., cited, 28 

Stalin motor-car works, Moscow, 

output of, 80, 83 
Stalingrad, new motor works at, 


State farms, 77 
State Planning Commission of the 

Council of Soviet Commissaries, 

function of, 25 
Steel works, 124 

Sverdlovsk engineering works, 143 
Suram pass, electrified transport 

over, 49, 137 
Surveys, aerial, 70, 76 


Tartar district, roads of, 83 

Tartar Republic, 12 

Tashkent, 163, 164 

Telegraph-telephone cable, first 
underground, 89 

Telegraph and telephone lines, 
new, 889 

Telegraphic apparatus, rapid ac- 
tion instruments, 89 

Telephones, 85, 86 ff., automatic, 
88 ; multiple calling, electrical, 
and improvements in, 89, 92, 93 

Television, 89 

Textile combines, 163 

Tiflis, 83, 135 

Tiksy, aviation base at, 109 

Tractor stations, 77 

Tractor works, 124 

Traffic, allocation of, to various 
forms of transport, 19 ff. ; vol- 
ume of, planning for its trans- 
port, 17 ff. 

Transcaucasia, agricultural devel- 
opment in, cotton base in, and 
hydro-electric station, 136 ; in- 
dustrial developments and the 
oil industry, 134 ff. ; mining 
industries in, 135 ; railways of, 
136, partial electrification of, 
137 ff. ; roads in, 79 ; transport 
increase, 136 ff. 

" Transcaucasian Aviation," 69-70 

Transport, means of (see each under 
name), nationalisation of, 10 ff. ; 
Soviet reconstruction of, 38 ff. ; 
organisation of, planning of, 15- 
16, 25, et alibi, passim ; in 
Tsarist Russia, 26 ff., back- 
wardness of, 28 ff., collapse of, 
during the war, 33 ff., destruc- 
tion of, during the civil war- 


Treml, , telegraphic invention 

of, 89 
Tupoleff, , builder of all-steel 

'planes, 173 

Turkestan, cotton base, 160 
Turkestan - Siberian railway 

(Turksib), 48, 96, 158, 160 ff. 
Turkmenia, 83 
Tverchel and Tkvibul coal-mines, 


UFA, new motor factories at, 80 

Ufa-Magnitnaya line, 512 

Ujnui Boug river, 128 

Ukraine, the, 12 ; production of, 
reduction of by war and revolu- 
tion, 123 ; railways, new and re- 
constructed, 124 ff. ; river trans- 
port of, routes, of, 127 ; roads in, 
79 ; transport in, development 
of, 122 ff., 133 

" Ukraine Air Transport," 69, 70, 
survey work of, 70 

Ultra short-wave .transmission 
experiments, 89 

Ural mountains and Western 
Siberia, transport connections 
of, 140 ff. 

Ural river, 57 ; basin of, undevel- 
oped in Tsarist days, 30 

Ural-Kuzbas railway, 147 

Ural-Kuznetz Combine, 140, 141, 
143, 146 ; expectations from, 
149 ff. 

Urals, the, food and light indus- 
tries in, 144-5 ; labour in, 141 ; 
mineral wealth of, 140 ff., pre- 
sent-day exploitation of, 142 ft'., 
table for coal, 143, railway from, 
to Central Asia, 157 ; transport 
problems, 146, increase of goods 
traffic, 146, 147, table, 147 

U.S.S.R., boundaries, total length 
62 ; coast line, 62, northern, 
extent of, 98 ; railway lines of, 
number of, 24 

VANKAREM, Cape, 107, polar sta- 
tion at, 1 08 

Vargatch Island, shipping routes 
off, ipo 

Verkhniy Saldinks iron-works, 144 

Vershbitzky, K. A., lock wall de- 
signed by, 115 

Village telephony, 88 

Vodlozers, Lake, and Bakin's canal 

proposal, iii-i2 
Vodopianov, , aviator, 73, 108 
Volant, General de, cited, nz 
Volga river, 57, 121 ; trade of, 
I 9 I 3 57 traffic and transport 
on, in Tsarist days, 30, 57, tim- 
ber included, 163 ; transport by, 
Volga-Don Canal, 61-2, 67, 120, 

127, 156 

V6lga- Moscow Canal, 61, 120 
Voroshba-Unccha-Orsha line, 124 
Vyg, Lake, minerals in, 113 
Vladivostok, port of, 69 ; Arctic 
Sea routes to and from, 65, 69, 
99-100, 1 02 ff. 

WATERWAYS, navigable, additions 
to, 6 1 2, 1578 ; electric com- 
munications along, 91 

Wellen, aviation base in, 109 

White Guards, destruction by, of 
transport facilities, 36 

White Russia, roads in, 79 ; trans- 
port in, 133 

White Sea, foreign shipments of, 
65 ; ports building on, 67 ; pro- 
posed connection of, with the 
Black Sea, 120 

White Sea-Baltic Canal, see Baltic- 
White Sea Canal 

Wood fuel, 141-2 

Wrangel Island, scientific party on, 
relief of, 105, 106 

YAKUTIA, transport to, 77 ; growth 

of cargoes from, 153 
Yarmolchuk, M., super-speed 

transport system of, 556 
Yarolslav motor-car works, 80 
Yasinovataya, junction at, 48 
Yenisei river and estuary, 56, 98, 
99 ; ships visiting, 100, number 
of, 1 01, table, 102 ; trade in- 
crease on, 59 
Yugorski Shar, Straits of, 100 

ZLATOUST machine-tool works, 144 
Zubrik, K. M., wooden dam de- 
signed by, 114